Dalí is a world-famous master of surrealism but this global popularity is deep-rooted in his most personal geography: the Empordà.

The places and landscapes where he was born and raised accompanied him throughout his creative journey, forming a personal atlas that can be explored work after work in museum halls, but also physically discovered by visiting locations such as Molí de la Torre, Portlligat, Púbol, Vilabertran, Port de la Selva, the Castle of Quermançó…

No-one has brought the world’s attention to this land where winding hills blend with the rugged Mediterranean coast quite like him. However, he is not alone. It is said that the Tramuntana, the intense North wind that sweeps through, has made the Empordà a fertile land for geniuses. Some have shared time and space with Dalí, as you can see on this map.

Empordanès Map Agullana Llers Figueres Vilabertran Peralada Castell de Quermançó El Portde la Selva La Selva de Mar Portlligat Cadaqués Roses Vila-sacra Molí de laTorre Ordis Empúries Montgrí Santuari delsÀngels Girona Púbol Mas Juny Baix Empordà L'Alt Empordà Capde Creus Golf deRoses IllesMedes Massísdel Montgrí Capde Begur FRANCE MEDITERRANEANSEA La Bisbald’Empordà

Figueres

Although Salvador Dalí lived in Cadaqués, Paris, and New York, Figueres was always "his" city. He was born there in May 1904 and discovered a way of inhabiting the world: through observation, drawing and color. He learned to rebel against the narrow education there, had his first encounters with intellectuals and artists, held his first exhibition, and brought his friends from Madrid, such as Lorca and Buñuel. He always returned to Figueres as an adult, and above all, he decided that the museum of his work should be in "his" city. That's why he pulled strings to transform the old municipal theater of Figueres into the Teatre-Museu Dalí. He finally passed away in Figueres on January 23, 1989. Two days later, the city bid him a massive farewell. Since then, he has been buried in the crypt of his Teatre-Museu, four hundred meters from his birthplace.

Ordis

The story of a cobbler shattered by the death of a son and the abandonment of his wife inspired Carles Fages de Climent to write the poetry book La balada del sabater d'Ordis (The Ballad of the Cobbler of Ordis), which was illustrated by Salvador Dalí, who also wrote the epilogue to the book, published in 1954.

The main character is a madman who would go out into the street on windy days to try to control the wind with a cane. Other characters in the poem are the louse and the flea (from the traditional Catalan song El poll i la puça), a couple who traveled from village to village playing a barrel organ, also immortalized by Dalí in a sculpture in the Teatre-Museu.

In addition, Alexandre Deulofeu, a childhood friend of the painter, also had a house in this town.

El Port de la Selva

Although Dalí's figure is commonly associated with Cadaqués, he also had a connection with its rival town on Cap de Creus, Port de la Selva, where he spent summers with friends such as Alexandre Plana, J.V. Foix, and Josep Maria de Sagarra. Furthermore, as he explains in the book Le Mythe Tragique de l’Angélus de Millet (The Tragic Myth of Millet’s Angelus, 1963), it was here that he saw a coffee set decorated with a reproduction of that painting.

The monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes is located in the Port de la Selva municipality. Dalí often visited this town due to his interest in the theory of Alexandre Deulofeu, who placed the origin of Romanesque art in the Empordà region.

Selva de Mar

During the 1960s, Carles Fages de Climent opened a venue in this town called El celler d'en Climent, a combination of a "boîte" or discotheque and an art gallery.

Dalí collaborated in promoting the establishment, and in September 1964, a tribute exhibition dedicated to the surrealist painter was held there, with Dalí himself attending the opening wearing the traditional Catalan espadrilles and hat, the barretina.

El celler d'en Climent was a prime example of the artistic and nightlife scene in the Empordà region back then. Years later, Dalí designed the logo for another nightclub, the Rachdingue, in Vilajuïga, owned by his friend Miette.

Cadaqués

Before the painter put it on the map of the art world, this town in Cap de Creus was already frequented by artists such as Eliseu Meifrèn or Ramon Pichot, from whom the young Dalí took inspiration in his early years.

Cadaqués was the summer retreat for Dalí's family, and it was there that he spent his childhood and adolescent summers. During the long and bright summer days, he had all the time in the world to dedicate himself to his brushes, and his sister Anna Maria willingly served as his model, especially between 1923 and 1925.

Several places in Cadaqués, such as Cala Nans, Port Dogué, Casa Colom, l’illot des Cucurucuc, the Sant Sebastià hermitage, la punta d’Es Sortell, Torre de les Creus, Es Baluard, Santa Maria Church, Sant Baldiri hermitage, Portlligat island, Pení Mountain and the terraced vineyards and olive groves appear in several of his paintings.

Mas Juny (Palamós)

This particular hut located on the Mas Juny estate, near Es Castell Beach in Palamós, was built by order of the patron Alberto Puig Palau according to Dalí’s design so that his friend could paint there in peace.

The artist knew this place because he had gone there often when it was owned by the painter Josep Maria Sert. During one of his visits, Sert's brother-in-law, Prince Alexis Mendivani, died in a car accident while accompanied by his lover, Maud Thyssen. El tràgic incident va inspirar Dalí per pintar Suburbis de la ciutat paranoico crítica (Suburbs of the Paranoiac-Critical Town, 1935).

Agullana

Lídia Noguer is buried in the cemetery of Agullana. She was the woman who sold the first hut in Portlligat to Dalí, which would eventually become his home. She lived in the town’s Gomis Shelter during her final years. . In her youth, she accommodated Eugeni d'Ors in her guest house, and eventually became obsessed with him.

Upon her death in 1946, Ors wrote the epitaph for a gravestone paid for by the painter, which could not be put up until 1989 due to restrictions imposed by the dictatorship at the time of her passing. The epitaph read: " Resting here, if the Tramuntana allows her to, is Lídia Noguer de Costa, Sibyl of Cadaqués, who through magical inspiration, dialectically was and was not Teresa la Ben Plantada (the main character of Ors’ novel), at once. In her name, the angelical ones conjure goats and anarchists."

Llers

This is the village where the Dalí lineage is from. In addition, in 1924, the painter illustrated the poetry book Les bruixes de Llers (The Witches of Llers), the literary debut of his friend Carles Fages de Climent. It was also Dalí's first work in the field of book illustration.

Sactuary of the Angels (Santuari dels Àngels)

The Catholic wedding of Gala and Dalí is a little-known episode in the couple's life. It took place in the utmost privacy, on Friday, August 8, 1958, at half past ten in the morning, at the Santuari dels Àngels. The chaplain in charge of officiating the ceremony was Francesc Vilà, the priest of Fornells de la Selva and formerly of Cadaqués.

To celebrate the marriage, the newlyweds had lunch at Can Manolo restaurant in Pont de la Barca, located at the outskirts of Girona and then paid Bishop Narcís Jubany a visit.

El Montgrí

The profile of this rounded mountain massif that separates the Alt and Baix Empordà evokes a giant reclining bishop, with the castle representing the bishop's ring. In fact, it is known as the "dead bishop," although others see the silhouette of a breast and nipple. For the locals, it is an icon of this land, and Dalí often added this characteristic silhouette to his paintings. He even painted it on the upholstery of a sofa from the Teatre-Museu.

Girona

The patron saint of the city, Sant Narcís (St. Narcissus), and the miracle of his flies that drove away the French, always caught Dalí's attention. He dedicated several works and texts to them. In addition, in 1924 he was imprisoned there by the authorities under Primo de Rivera's dictatorship for a few days.

The painter, who participated in a couple of GEIEG group exhibits in the early 1920s, visited Girona on various occasions. In 1925, he visited the city accompanied by Federico García Lorca, as stated by authors such as Antonina Rodrigo or Ian Gibson.

In his paintings, there is only one reference to Girona in The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus (1958), where the bell tower of Sant Feliu Church can be seen.

Roses

Although Cadaqués and Portlligat are the most prominent landscapes in Dalí's works, Roses also appears occasionally. It was the hometown of his paternal grandmother, Teresa Cusí Marcó, and the Dalí family would often stop there to visit relatives when they traveled to Cadaqués, taking advantage of the five-hour journey by carriage and making a rest stop. As a child, Dalí would often accompany his father on notarial trips to Roses.

The view of the plain and the beach before reaching Roses left a lasting impression on the painter's memory, as can be seen in some of his paintings from the 1930s.

Vila-sacra

While for Dalí, the center of the world was the Perpignan railway station, for his friend and writer Carles Fages de Climent, that honor had to be given to Vila-sacra, as he argued in a conference in 1956. During that talk, he proposed that Dalí become the architect of a grand cathedral to be built in the town of Far d'Empordà, with the help of Ramon Reig, Joan Bonaterra, and Claudi Díaz.

The painter played along with the idea, and on both the day of his tribute (1961) and the inauguration of the Teatre-Museu (1974), he requested that the official procession start from this village.

Peralada

Dalí always welcomed his guests in Portlligat with a glass of rosé cava from Peralada. The artist was a close friend of Miquel Mateu, owner of the Castle of Peralada, who always gave Dalí a helping hand whenever possible. For example, it was thanks to Miquel that Dalí obtained funding for the Teatre-Museu.

Furthermore, it was at the Castle of Peralada where Dalí was invested as a member of the Chapter of the Knights of Wine (1966), and where a meeting took place between the painter and Franco (1970). During another stay at the castle, Dalí took the opportunity to gather final notes for the painting he dedicated to the dictator's granddaughter.

Molí de la Torre

It was in this stately house, very close to Figueres, where Dalí recovered from an illness he suffered at the age of twelve. The Molí de la Torre belonged to the mezzo-soprano Maria Pichot (artistically known as Maria Gay) and was managed by her brother Pepito Pichot.

There, Dalí discovered the paintings of another of Maria’s brothers, the impressionist Ramon Pichot, a close friend of Picasso’s, whose numerous paintings adorned the house. For the young Dalí, Pichot's work was encouraging and fostered his artistic vocation.

In The Secret Life..., Dalí includes an erotic narrative from his adolescence that is set in this house.

Empúries

The archaeological site of Empúries was one of the places that Dalí wanted to show Federico García Lorca during his visit in 1927. The space impressed the poet, who published a poem in the famous avant-garde magazine L'Amic de les Arts accompanied by an illustration by the painter titled El poeta en la platja d’Empúries (The Poet on the Beach of Empúries) Additionally, the writer from Granada drew inspiration from an Empúries mosaic to write "The Sacrifice of Iphigenia," a text that has not been found. According to Reynolds Morse, during this time, Dalí painted La font (The Fountain) while inspired by a column from the remains of Empúries.

Perpignan

Although it is not part of the Empordà region, Perpignan is a key location in Dalí's work. It was there that Gala would check the luggage and paintings when going to Paris by train. According to the painter, it was at those times, while waiting at the station, that he came up with his greatest ideas. On this basis, he developed the theory that the Perpignan railway station was the center of the world.

Inspired by this idea, he painted Gala looking at Dalí in a state of antigravity in his artwork "Pop-Op-Yes-Yes-Pompier," where you can see the two anguished characters from Millet's "The Angelus" in a state of ancestral hibernation, standing in a sky that could suddenly burst into a giant Maltese cross right in the middle of the Perpignan railway station, where the entire universe is meant to converge (c. 1965), popularly known as The Perpignan Station. 1965, he organized a "triumphant journey" from Ceret. Upon arriving in the northern Catalan city, he was hailed by the awaiting crowd.

In 2007, the French railway company (SNCF) opened a convention center next to the station called "Center of the World" in homage to Dalí.

Castle of Quermançó

This medieval fortress located atop a hill in the municipality of Vilajuïga is very popular in the Alt Empordà region, both for its uniqueness and for being the setting of several legends. The most well-known legend recounts that a golden goat made of the treasures of a Moorish king is buried in its surroundings.

It was a place that fascinated Salvador Dalí so much that the artist made some arrangements to buy it. According to him, his intention was to install a grandiose organ that would play when the Tramuntana (the north wind) blew and also put a vigilant rhinoceros by the moat, to captivate the tourists.

Vilabertran

This is where Dalí did some of his first outdoor painting exercises under the guidance of Professor Juan Núñez. For the people of Figueres, Vilabertran was a common place to go for a walk. For the artist, it held a special significance as his friend Ramon Reig had a house there.

Vilabertran becomes Horta Fresca, a sketch in his youth novel entitled Tardes d’estiu (Summer Afternoons, 1920). When Dalí writes Dali News in New York, he foretells that in the future "Vilabertran will know uncountable riches and will be visited by travelers from all over the world.” And in the script for the film El carretó de carn (The Flesh Wheelbarrow of Flesh, 1948-1965), he envisions Nietzsche, Freud, Ludwig II, and Marx meeting at the small lake in Vilabertran.

Púbol

Here is one of the vertices that make up the Dalinian Triangle along with Figueres and Portlligat.

In 1969 the painter bought the castle of Púbol for Gala, with the promise that he would only pay a visit to her with her permission. The artist was involved in refurbishing the building and decorated a few spaces, including the ceiling of the “Sala dels Escuts” (Hall of Shields).

The castle became Gala's refuge during the last years of her life, and when she passed away in 1982, she was buried in the crypt of the old cellar, known as “la Sala del Delme” (the Tithe Room). Dalí then moved there. It was where he painted Sense títol. Cua d’oreneta i violoncels. Sèrie de les catàstrofes (Untitled. Swallow's Tail and Cellos. The Catastrophes Series ,1983), considered his last painting. Due to a fire in his room in 1984, the artist moved to the Galatea Tower in Figueres.

The castle of Púbol is currently managed by the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation and is open to the public.

Portlligat

In Portlligat, Dalí discovered the landscape of different shades of pure blue and sea pebbles that would characterize his pictorial language.

He had known this place since he was young, when going camping with his friends during summers. From 1929, when his relationship with Gala began and he joined the surrealism movement, he bought a fisherman's hut from Lídia Nogués to turn it into his home and studio.

Upon returning from the United States in 1948, it became the couple's permanent residence and an epicenter of Dalí’s artistic, media and social activity. Currently, the house is open to the public and is part of the Dalinian Triangle along with the Teatre-Museu and the Gala-Dalí Castle in Púbol.