If we had to pick out a courtly love story in the 20th century, this would be the love story of Dalí and his muse, Gala. Dalí was an eccentric personage and an artist with an extravagant intimate life as well. Gala was the main theme of many of his paintings and he adored her so much that bought her a Castle. Gala lived there isolated for long periods at the end of her life and, after her death, it was Dalí’s last residence and workshop. Dalí decorated the Castle with paintings and ornaments made by himself according to Gala’s taste. Visiting the Castle gives the opportunity of contemplating some of Dalí’s paintings and works, but it is also a journey into his privacy and his eccentricities.
Gala fell in love with the castles of the Italian Tuscany and asked Dalí to buy one for her. Dalí, of course, wanted to fulfill her wish but, instead of Tuscany, he found a ruined medieval castle in Púbol, a small village in Empordà, not far from his residence in Portlligat (Cadaqués). The Castle dates from the eleventh century, Dalí purchased it in 1969 and it took him some years to restore it. Finally, he gave it to Gala when she was 74 years old. She spent summers there until she died in 1982. She was buried in a Mausoleum at the cript of the Castle. Gala accepted the Castle under two conditions: that he would only visit her whenever she formally invited him and that he would never spend the night there.
The Castle is nowadays maintained as it used to be when Gala and, afterwards, Dalí, lived there. In all rooms, the devotion of Dalí for Gala is present through portraits and representations of her muse, although it is decorated austerely, as she liked. There are some personal objects of her, like opera records, books, a photo album, the invitation cards she used to invite him, or the Cadillac where Dalí carried the dead body of Gala from Portlligat to Púbol. As he also lived there the last two years of his life, the visitors can see his last workshop as it used to be. In the cellar, there is Gala’s mausoleum, a double tomb build to bury both of them together, but where finally only Gala is buried. At the last moment, Dalí changed his mind and asked to be buried in the Theatre-Museum Dalí in Figueres.
On the roof of the Castle, there is an exhibition of the dresses and gowns of Gala, designs of the best dressmakers of each period and even one designed by Dalí himself. The gardens in the Castle are a reproduction of the castle gardens in Tuscany, decorated with sculptures of the famous Dalinian elephants with mosquito legs.
Gala-Dalí Castle in Púbol is, along with the Theatre-Museum Dalí in Figueres, and their house in Portlligat, an essential visit for those who are fascinated by the eccentric and amazing surrealist universe of one of the most important painters of 20th century.