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The Delightfully Absurd Theatre-Museum Where You Can Find Salvador Dali’s Grave

Behold the lesser known works and final resting place of the mustachioed genius.

While Barcelona boasts countless sights and museums, one of the true gems of any Catalonia experience lies several hours drive northeast in the Costa Brava region at the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain. It’s part of the Dalí triangle, including nearby Púbol where he built his wife Gala her castle, and Portlligat where they vacationed on the sea. The short, scenic drive from Barcelona also winds through the city of Girona, where medieval corridors and imposing cathedral double as locations for Game of Thrones filming.

Figueres, where The Dalí Theatre-Museum resides, is not only Dalí’s hometown. The museum is the same site where he held his first art exhibition at the age of 14 when it was still being used for public events. That is just one of the peculiar facts regarding this unique museum. Curated by Dalí himself, his grave is located at the center of the theatre’s former stage. This is where he was exhumed during a 2017 paternity suit from a woman (wrongfully) claiming to be his daughter.

Many notable works of Dali’s reside at this shrine he created for his work. Some of his favorite personal pieces, including ones he brought to impress Picasso and others of his wife Gala, hang in his treasures room, which is entirely draped in red velvet; Lincoln in Dalivision hangs over the stage; Central Panel of the Wind Palace Ceiling is painted on a ceiling here.

There are rarer, lesser known works that provide interesting insight to one of art and humankind’s most bizarre minds including jewels he designed and cartoons he produced with Walt Disney. A diving suit he almost died in during a live performance mishap keeps guard over the museum entranceway.

It’s impossible to experience Dali’s vast artistic creations in this setting he crafted himself without gaining a personal connection to his profound surrealism.

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The entrance to The Dalí Theatre-Museum at sunrise.

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The museum exterior at sunrise. The museum design incorporates “eggs,” a common theme in Dali’s work. The exterior of the museum is lined with 14 trees, a braggadocious way of marking the artist’s age of his first exhibition at the location.

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The museum courtyard walls feature bizarre monster figures and Oscar statues, showcasing Dali’s love of film. There’s also an upside-down boat (called Gala’s Boat) in the former seating area of the theatre; now a courtyard with the roof removed.

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PHOTO: Joshua Mellin
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Part of an exhibition of photos of the artist himself.

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Lincoln in Dalivsion is one of Dali’s most famous works, an interpretation of the 16th American President mixed with an image of Dali’s wife Gala looking out to sea.

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Part of the Dali jewels collection, this is a cross fashioned out of 10 coins the artist crafted featuring Dali’s and his wife Gala’s visage. After being criticized for selling out, Dali adopted the pseudonym Alvida Dollars to celebrate his success.

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PHOTO: Joshua Mellin
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A strangely bent figure reveals itself as a skull in a reflective wine bottle.

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The museum showcases jewels designed by Dali. The Eye of Time, designed in 1949, is a clock with polished diamonds. It was fashioned to be worn over the eye like a patch. The Royal Heart is a mechanized heart of jewels that actually beats like a human’s. There’s even jewelry that pays tribute to Dali’s famous melting clocks.

 

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Dali believed actress Mae West’s face would make the perfect apartment building and designed this with her as the inspiration, including lips for the couch, her nose for the fireplace, and eyes as paintings on the wall. Behind the wall of the Mae West room, there’s a depiction of the actress’ brain.

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PHOTO: Joshua Mellin
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Dali nearly died wearing this dive suit during a mishap at a live performance. It now keeps watch over the entrance of his museum.

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Central Panel of the Wind Palace Ceiling is permanently installed upstairs at the museum.

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Downstairs, you can actually stand next to the final resting place of Salvador Dali.