One of the two main reasons tourists come to Figueres is to visit the spectacularly surreal Dalí Theatre-Museum (the other is to make the connection to Cadaqués).
Designed by Figueres-born artist Salvador Dalí to showcase his extravagant works, this bizarre and extremely unique museum – decorated with rows of bread-like medallions, golden statues, and giant eggs – is beyond anything we’ve ever experienced in an art museum.
Inaugurated in 1974, the Theatre-Museum was Dalí’s gift to his hometown. It’s built into the remnants of the medieval city wall, and stands on the site of the former Municipal Theater – destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, Dali created a new ‘theater’ to serve as his museum and topped it with a geodesic dome. Eye-catching features of the building (besides the dome) include the Classical façade (which faces Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, where you’ll see Dali’s Monument to Francesc Pujols and the Church of Saint Peter) and Torre Galatea (named for Dali’s wife, Gala, this tower from the old fortification is where Dali spent the last few years of his life.)
Inside the Theatre-Museum, you’ll see:
A courtyard (the former auditorium) where golden statues look down at the visitors below, and Gala’s boat hangs suspended above Dalí’s Cadillac, an installation titled Car Naval. Rainy taxi. (1974-1985);
The stage area, which is separated from the courtyard by a wall of glass, and features several large paintings, cut-outs, and sculptures, including:
A giant painting, identified as Project for “Labyrinth” and signed Gala Salvador Dali 1941, which serves as a backdrop of sorts for the stage,
A pixelated painting titled Gala Nude Looking at the Sea Which at 18 Metres Appears the President Lincoln (1975), (it does look like Lincoln),
A very strange sculpture of a reclining man/chair,
A colossal statue of Moses (after Michelangelo) with an octopus above his head and a copy of Sigmund Freud’s Moise et Monotheisme with cover relief and illustrations by Dalí, at his feet;
Side galleries, near the stage, house exhibits of additional works, such as:
Port Alguer (c. 1923)
Girl from Figueres (1926)
Two Girls (c. 1922)
One floor below, just beneath the stage, you’ll see where Dalí was buried, following his death in 1989.