The small town of Figueres is famous for one reason, but oh what a reason. Figueres is not only where renowned surrealist painter and artistic innovator Salvador Dalí was born, it is also where he, along with the town’s mayor, decided to build a museum dedicated to his work and where eventually, he was buried. In fact, if you are coming to Figueres for a reason other than to explore the museum, consider yourself lost.
The Dalí Theatre and Museum (Teatre-Museu Dalí in Catalan) houses the single largest collection of works by Salvador Dalí, many of which are taken from the artist’s own store of works. Most fascinating about the museum though are the many works that were created solely for use in the space, such as a living-room with furniture that looks like the face of Mae West when viewed from a certain vantage point as well as a series of mechanical devices. In addition to the oeuvre of Dalí, there is also work from El Greco, Marcel Duchamp and Catalan artist Antoni Pitxot, a friend of Dalí whom he dedicated a gallery to. It was Pitxot who became the director of the museum after Dalí’s death.
The theater part of the museum’s name comes from the building once being home to the town’s theater, but it was bombed during the Spanish Civil War when Dalí was a child. The building stood in ruins until Dalí and the mayor decided to build the museum in 1960. In the crypt of the building, is where Dali was laid to rest.
Access: Figueres is two hours from Barcelona by train, which depart every 30-60 minutes. The train departs from Barcelona Sants station, but you can pick it up at Passeig de Gracia. If the idea of travelling for two hours from Barcelona sounds tiresome, consider staying at the nearby scenic, beachfront town of Cadaques, where you can also tour Dali historic locations, or the larger city of Girona, which is one hour away and worth a trip in itself.