Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Spain: Cadaquès and Port Lligat, Dali's home

First view of Cadaquès and the bay along Costa Brava.
 After Figueres, our group traveled along steep winding roads to reach Cadaquès, on the Cap de Creus peninsula along the Costa Brava. During the summer, Cadaquès is off limits to tour buses, as the roads are narrow and with more traffic it becomes a treacherous drive for even small buses. Since we were there in October, we were able to enjoy the scenic route, climbing a series of hills, then plunging down toward the sea.

Tranquil and empty Cadaquès.
Cadaquès is a sleepy fishing village that Dali often visited as a child. It was an attractive spot to many other artists, including Picasso and Miro. It was an overcast day when we arrived, and there was little activity going on in the village.

The "Blue House": at one time, many Cadaquès natives immigrated to Cuba,
then returned home with riches and built elegant homes like this one.
We had an hour free for lunch in Cadaquès. I came across a wonderful outdoor creperie, and ate a delightful crepe filled with goat cheese and fresh raspberry jam. After a bit of wandering around the quiet village, we moved on to the main event: Dali's home in Port Lligat, twenty minutes away.

Dali's house in Port Lligat, marked by his iconic eggs on one portion of the roof, 
Dali was drawn to the location by the landscape and isolation it offered. From seven small huts once used by fishermen, he gradually created a home with a labyrinthine structure. Though the structure became habitable in 1949, construction was continuous from 1930 to 1972, resulting in the form that stands today.  As Dali described it, the home was " like a real biological structure...each new pulse on our life had its own new cell, its room."

The Library: Each room is decorated with various odd objects: paintings, statues, and even taxidermy.
Dali and his wife Gala lived a the house in Port Lligat until her death in 1982. The home remains the same as it was on the day he left in 1982 and moved to Pubòl Castle, where Gala was buried.

Dali's easel.
In Dali's studio, you can see the easel that he designed, which moves up and down, into the floor, so that he could always paint while sitting in his chair.  

Dali's studio.
Lounge area, leading to bedroom.
In the room shown above, Dali positioned a mirror (above the sofa on the wall to the left) so that he and Gala would be able to watch the sunrise from their bedroom, which was up a short staircase to the right of this room. Since Port Lligat is the easternmost village of mainland Spain, Dali bragged that he was the first person in his country to see the sun each day.

Bedroom of Dali and Gala.

Gala's oval "relaxing" room, often used as a salon for guests to enjoy stimulating conversations.
Only eight people are allowed in the museum at a time, due to the narrow halls, numerous stairways and labyrinthine setup of the house, and advance reservations must be made.  In addition to the house itself, there are several outdoor spaces to view.

One of the terraces

Dali's iconic swimming pool, shaped like male genitals.

Another terrace, all in white.
This view into Dali's life was richly interesting, and well worth the trip. Due to the difficulty of getting to Cadaquès and Port Lligat, this area of Spain is often overlooked, and remains a tranquil testament to the life and art of Salvadore Dali. 

Adios to Cadaquès!

1 comment:

Julia said...

Thanks for this. I didn't know anything about his home.