Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dali's Gift to Gala: A Castle in Pubol

Today, my roommate, Anke, and I took to train to Flaca, a small town between Girona and Figueres, to walk along country roads to a village called Pubol.   In 1970, Salvador Dali bought a small medieval castle in this village and restored it as a gift for his wife, Gala.  This is the last of the sights that makes up "the Dali Triangle" in Catalunya, and it was so nice to head out there on a day like today, with spring unfolding.  From the Flaca train station, it is a 4km walk to Pubol.  I don't know how we did it, as we both have pretty good senses of direction, but both to and from Pubol, we headed in the complete opposite direction of where we were supposed to have gone, and though had lovely long walks on country roads, we had to ask for rides from locals both times to our end destinations.  Aah, it all worked out in the end!

The wildflowers in the fields were breathtaking...
This is the town of Pubol:
This is the exterior of the castle. Very modest in size.

The courtyard:

After Gala died in 1982, Dali lived permanently at the castle until a fire broke out in 1984 and injured him in the middle of the night. He was hospitalized and moved back to Figueres where he was born (and is now buried).

Though not as wacky as his home in Port Lligat, it was still full of kitsch.

The kitchen was like a country home. In fact, the whole castle was so cozy, not what you'd expect from a castle. It was neither dark, vast, nor cold.  As a result of seeing this castle, I am now quite comfortable with the notion of someone giving me one as a present. Anyone?

Again, Dali's artwork left unfinished as he left so suddenly after the fire.

This is the crypt where Gala is buried.  Dali prepared a tomb next to hers for himself as you can see, and I have heard two different stories about the fact that he is not buried there, but in Figueres. One is that he changed his mind and wanted to be buried in his hometown, and the other is that he was buried in Figueres against his wishes.

On his Cadillac in the garage:
The view from the backyard:

The terrace:

Look at the height of those Plane Trees!
The entrance to the garden:

Every time I leave one of the Dali sights, I am left with an appreciation of how joy-filled, loving, fulfilled, and loyal Dali and Gala were.  I learned at this castle-museum that when Dali offered the castle as a gift to Gala, she accepted on the condition that he would not visit her unless he received a letter from her inviting him. Her reason for this was that passion wanes with familiarity, unless the courting rituals are withheld!

The water fountains were elephant sculptures, the same long-legged creatures featured as motifs in many of his paintings.

Their neighbors. Can you imagine being Salvador Dali's neighbors? "You'll never believe who moved in next door!"

The church of Pubol:

Leaving Pubol behind... walk along country roads for over an hour going the wrong direction but loving every minute of it!

Spring is not complete in my heart until I have me some red poppy time:

1 comment:

Lisa said...

This is great! The pictures are beautiful and they bring me back to last summer when I was there:)thank you!