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Castle of Pubol

“I give you a Gothic castle as a gift, Gala.
I accept, with one condition, which is that:
You only come to visit me at the Castle on invitation. 
I accept since I accept everything in principle, 
on condition that there are conditions.
It is the same condition as courtly love”.

– A signed article, Dali refers to the Gala and the Castle.

A castle rich in mystery and artistic beauty is hidden away in the lush green scenery of Catalonia, Spain.

Often referred to as Gala Dalí Castle or the Castle of Púbol, this magical stronghold is marked in the annals of art history.

Gala Dali Castle Pubol is in the municipality of Pubol, in the comarca of La Selva, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. 

It is one of the three vertices of the Dalinian Triangle and was Dali’s present to his wife, Gala, representing his love. 

It was the last residence of Gala Dali, who, after she died in 1982, handed over to the Spanish government. 

Since 1996, the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation has been managing its public access.

Snapshot

Opening Hours:  10 am to 6:15 pm

Best Time to Visit: Afternoon

Last Entry: 5:15 pm

Time Needed: One to two hours 

Ticket Cost:  €10 ($11)


Early History of The Pubol Castle

The Castle of Pubol is indeed a Gothic-Renaissance fortification that originated in the 11th century.

It was built as a defensive fortress to protect the surrounding area from attackers.

The castle had multiple changes over the ages, changing from a fortified military camp to a royal home.

In the middle of the 14th century, the castle was acquired by Arnau de Llers. Later on, it was owned by the Cervia family and, in 1370, by Jaspert de Campllong. 

The current castle and church were built around 1420, in the days of the lords of Púbol, named Corbera.

Renowned visionary Salvador Dalí was drawn to the castle in the early 20th century, mesmerized by its romantic appeal and historic beauty. 

In 1969, Dalí bought the castle as a present for Gala, his muse and wife, who had long desired her private haven.

In 1982, when Gala died, she was laid to rest in a small mausoleum in the castle’s crypt designed by her husband to resemble a chess board. 

Today, the castle is a house museum and is managed by the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation. 

What’s Inside the Castle of Pubol

The magic of the Castle of Pubol is a historic landmark and a journey into the heart of surrealism and romance. 

As you walk through the castle’s beautifully decorated rooms and peaceful gardens, you’ll glimpse Dali and Gala’s private life.

Each corner of the castle, from the lavish dining room to the peaceful chapel, narrates tales of love, inspiration, and the strong bond between the artist and his muse. 

Echoes of history surround the palace. One can truly feel Gala’s grace and her deep passion for art and beauty.

Visiting Dali’s Castle of Púbol doesn’t feel like a typical museum visit; it’s more like sneaking through someone else’s home while they’re away on vacation.

Inside the enchanting castle, you will find many fascinating things like- 

Gala’s Crypt

The journey begins with Gala’s crypt. 

Located in the castle’s courtyard, you can walk down cool stone steps to find Gala’s final resting place. 

It’s a solemn and intimate space, surrounded by unusual statues of lions and giraffes, reflecting Dalí’s surreal touch.

The Surreal Castle Decorations

Dalí transformed the castle into a surreal masterpiece for the Gala. 

Every corner of the castle, from its medieval exterior to the interiors, showcases Dalí’s eccentric and imaginative design choices.

It’s like stepping into a different world, where every detail was a token of Dalí’s love for Gala and his unique artistic vision.

Gala’s Story

Probably the most interesting part of our visit to Dali’s Castle of Pubol was not learning about Dali himself but about his powerful and mysterious wife, Gala. 

Dali designed the castle for his wife, Gala, so she could spend her summers there. 

The castle holds a contract on display, saying that Dali cannot visit the castle unless Gala gives him explicit permission to do so. It was her haven.

Gala’s Dresses

Walking into the room with Gala’s dresses feels like you’re getting a personal look into her life, not just visiting a museum. 

The fancy and elegant dresses show off her unique style and give us a glimpse of her sophisticated side. 

There’s a special section for her most famous and fancy dresses. 

These dresses are carefully displayed behind glass in a small room on the top floor, inviting you to see the stylish world Gala lived in.

Dali’s Cars

The museum goes beyond its interior spaces to the castle gardens.

Outside, you’ll find an open-air garage showcasing Dali’s cars, presented as art pieces on wheels.

Each car tells a story, reflecting a piece of Dalí’s opulent and eccentric lifestyle.

Surreal Art in the Gardens

The castle’s gardens have sculptures resembling surrealist artist Dali’s famous works. 

Although it’s not an art museum, these statues blend perfectly with the natural beauty of the gardens to create a whimsical outdoor gallery. 

The most impressive are the garden statues Dalí created, modeled after his iconic 1948 painting.

The Fountain with a Twist

There’s a lovely fountain in a garden far away from the castle. 

At first glance, it looks like it’s from a fancy old style called “baroque,” but if you look closer, it’s actually from a more modern style called “surrealist.” 

The little circles around the angry fish are actually pictures of the composer Wagner’s face! 

The artist Dali did this because he thought Wagner was cool and liked his music a lot.

Types of Pubol Castle Tickets

There are two types of Gala Dali Castle tickets that you opt for: Gala Dali admission ticket and Gala Dali guided tour.

Gala Dali Castle Admission Ticket

This Gala Dali entrance ticket or the Pubol Castle entrance ticket is the cheapest and most popular way to access the museum.

For only €10 ($11), you can see Dali’s original works displayed in and around the castle. 

The collection includes bony elephants, giraffes, a taxidermied horse and the burial place of Gala, Dali’s beloved wife and muse.

Ticket Price

Adult (9 + years): €10 ($11)

Child ticket (up to 8 years): Free Entry

Gala Dali Castle Guided Tour Tickets

A tour guide at the Gala Dalí Castle can be like your personal art translator.

Whether you’re short on time, don’t understand Spanish, or simply want to learn more about Dalí’s strange and wonderful creations.

A guide will explain everything in a way that’s easy to understand, even if you don’t speak Spanish. 

The Gala Dali Castle guided tour is available in Catalan, English, French and Spanish.

Plus, they can show you things you might have missed on your own.

And it costs only €25 ($25) for adults, which is €5 ($5) more than the cheapest entry ticket.

Ticket Price

Adult (9 + years):  €25 ($25)

Child ticket (up to 8 years): Free Entry

Opening Hours of Pubol Castle

The Castle of Pubol is open all year round, but the opening and closing hours vary depending on the season. 

During the peak season, from 1st July to 8th September, the castle is open every day from 10 am to 6:15 pm. 

From 9th September to 3rd November, it operates from 10:30 am to 5:15 pm. 

From 4th November to the end of December, the castle opens at 10 am and closes at 4:15 pm. 

In January and February, the Castle of Pubol is open only for seven days, from 1st to 7th January, from 10 am to 4:15 pm. From 8th January to 29th February, it remains closed. 

From March through June, there are two different timings. 

From 1st to 14th March, it opens at 10 am and closes at 4:15 pm. From 15th March to 30th June, it opens at 10:30 am and closes at 5:15 pm.

Here’s a table summarizing the opening hours for the Castle of Pubol:

Months Castle TimingsClosed Days
1 January to 7 January10 am to 7 January1 January 
8 January to 29 FebruaryClosedClosed for the entire period
1 March to 14 March10 am to 4:15 pmMondays
15 March to 30 June10:30 am to 5:15 pmMondays except 25 March, 1 April, 6 and 20 May and 24 June
1 July to 8 September10 am to 6:15 pmOpen every day
9 September to 3 November10:30 am to 5:15 pmMondays except 23 September 
4 November to 31 December10 am to 4:15 pmMondays and 25 December 
Open on 30 December

The Best Time to Visit the Castle of Pubol 

The Castle of Pubol is a less popular tourist spot in comparison to the Dali Theatre Museum and Dali House museum Portlligat. 

Since it gets fewer visitors, managing the crowd is not a problem. This is a great chance to explore and experience the world of Dalí without any disturbances.

The best time to visit would arguably be during the extended hours in the summer or during the spring break season when it’s less crowded.

Regardless of the season, visiting the castle on weekdays, particularly Tuesdays through Thursdays, can often result in smaller crowds than on weekends.

How to Reach the Castle of Pubol From Barcelona

Pubol Gala Dalí Castle, located in the small village of Pubol, Catalonia, is a fairytale-like structure built as a gift to Salvador Dalí’s wife, Gala. 

Getting there is easy; the castle is accessible via a short drive from Figueres, Girona, and Barcelona.

How to Reach the Castle of Pubol 

A visit to the Castle of Púbol, also known as the Gala Dalí Castle, is an absolute must-see.

And the best part is you have multiple modes of transportation to choose from, depending on which direction you’re coming from. 

Whether you’re traveling from Barcelona, Figueres (home of the famous Dali museum), or Girona, getting to the castle is a breeze.

Address EntranceAccess for People in Wheelchairs
Gala Dali Square, E-17120 Pubol-la PeraPlaca Gala DaliFora Muralla Street, unnumbered

The Castle of Pubol From Barcelona

Pubol is approximately  97 km (60.3 miles) from Barcelona.

Public transportation can be a convenient and affordable way to get to the Castle, especially if you are new to the city.

On the other hand, if you prefer the independence and flexibility of driving, hopping in your own car might be the best option.

From Barcelona to Pubol Castle By Car

Take the A-7 motorway (Barcelona-la Jonquera) and exit at Girona North. 

Then, head towards Palamós. After passing the village of Bordils and the crossroad to Flaca, take the road to La Pera and Púbol. 

The journey takes approximately an hour and a half. 

The parking area is located at the entrance of the village.

From Nacional II Road: Barcelona-France, towards Palamos

Take the road to La Bisbal d’Empordà until you reach the intersection with Parlava. 

Take a right turn there and continue driving until you reach the C-66 road. 

After taking a right turn towards Girona, travel for 1.24 miles (2 km) and then take a left turn to continue on the road to La Pera. From there, continue on to Púbol

From Perpignan to The Castle of Pubol 

  • Take the AP7 motorway (La Jonquera-Figueres) and then follow IV-6234, GI-633, and C-66 to reach GIV-6426 in Pubol. 
  • Alternatively, you can take the A9 highway (Perpignan-La Jonquera) and then Nacional II Road until Figueres.

By Public Transport

You can take both the train and the bus to reach Pubol. 

From Pubol the Gala-Dali Castle House Museum in Pubol is within walking distance from the bus station.

From Barcelona to the Castle of Pubol By Bus 

Take the bus from Barcelona Sants to Girona.

Once you arrive in Girona, take the bus to Pubol. The bus line number is Sarfa Bus.

Get off at Pubol Bus Station, and the castle of Pubol is within walking distance from the bus station.

From Barcelona to the Castle of Pubol By Train

The best way to get to Pubol from Barcelona is to take the train to Flaçà and either walk or take a taxi for the remaining 6 miles (around 10 km).

Regional and middle-distance trains take 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

Because Flaçà is a small town with only a few cabs, you should make reservations in advance (before taking the train in Barcelona).

Castle of Pubul From Figueres

The Castle of Púbol is approximately 28 km (17.4 miles) from Figueres, considering the straight-line distance between the two places. 

However, the road distance is around 39.1 km (24.3 miles).

Here are the directions to reach the castle:

Car: By car from Figueres to the Castle of Púbol, the distance is approximately 35 kilometers and would take around 40 minutes.

  • Take the Nacional II Road (Barcelona-France) towards Palamos.
  • Take the road to La Bisbal d’Empordà until the crossroad to Parlavà, then turn right and drive until you reach C-66 road.
  • Then turn right towards Girona, and after driving 2 km., turn left to follow the road to La Pera and then Púbol.

Train: If you take the train from Figueres to Flaçà, it will take around 20 minutes.

Then, taking the line 42 bus to La Pera – Gasolinera would take around 10 minutes. 

From there, you would need to walk for approximately 15 minutes to reach the Castle of Púbol.

Castle of Pubol From Girona

To travel from Girona to the Castle of Púbol, you must cover a distance of approximately 26.5 km (16.5 miles). 

If you are driving, it will take you around 30 minutes to reach the castle. 

However, if you are taking the bus, it might take a little longer.

Here are the directions to reach the castle:

By Car: Drive towards La Bisbal d’Empordà on the C-66 road. 

After passing by Celrà and Bordils, turn right to follow the road to La Pera and then Púbol.

By Bus: Take the Girona-Palamós (SARFA) line and get off at either Flaçà or La Pera.

How Long Does it Take to Tour the Castle of Pubol

On average, visitors typically spend around one to two hours exploring the castle and its surroundings. 

This allows enough time to admire the castle’s architectural features, wander through the interior rooms and gardens, and learn about the history and significance of the site. 

However, the duration of the tour may vary depending on your interest in Dali’s work and the pace at which you prefer to explore.

However, those who wish to delve deeper into the details of the castle’s history can opt for a guided tour of the castle.

The guided tour of Pubol Castle takes 90 minutes. 

You can choose from English, French, and Catalan if you don’t know Spanish.

Gala-Dalí Castle in Pubol Accessibility

The Gala Dalí Castle is a medieval fortress dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

It presents certain architectural features that may limit accessibility for individuals with mobility impairments.

While most areas of the Gala Dalí Castle are accessible to those with reduced mobility, there are exceptions: Gala’s bathroom (room 4), the temporary exhibition space (room 7), and the crypt (room 12) are not accessible.

For visitors using wheelchairs, entry to the museum is facilitated through a special entrance located on Fora Muralla Street, behind the church. 

This unnumbered entrance has a doorbell system to alert museum staff for assistance.

The Legacy of Gala Dalí

Gala Dalí’s influence extended far beyond the walls of the Castle of Púbol, shaping the course of Dalí’s artistic career and leaving an indelible mark on the world of surrealism. 

As Dalí’s muse, collaborator, and confidante, Gala inspired some of his most iconic works, infusing them with her enigmatic presence and boundless imagination.

Beyond her role in Dalí’s life and art, Gala was an influential figure in her own right, with a keen intellect, a strong sense of independence, and a passion for cultural exploration. 

She played a pivotal role in shaping the surrealist movement, forging connections with artists, writers, and intellectuals worldwide.

Gala’s legacy lives on through the Castle of Púbol, which stands as a reminder of her profound influence and artistic vision. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the Castle of Pubol

Did Salvador Dalí buy his wife a castle?

In 1969, the Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí gifted a dilapidated castle to his wife, Gala, who was born in Russia. 

She appreciated his generous gift and established specific rules for their new residence in Púbol, a Catalan village.

What are the Castle of Púbol timings?

The Castle of Púbol operates with varying schedules throughout the year:

March 15 to June 30: Open from 10:30 am to 5:15 pm. Closed on Mondays, except for public holidays.

July 1 to September 8: Open daily from 10 am to 6:15 pm, including Mondays.

September 9 to November 3: Open from 10:30 am to 5:15 pm. Mondays are a day off, except for public holidays.

November 4 to March 14: The winter schedule is from 10 am to 4:15 pm, with Mondays closed.

What happened to Gala Dali?

Salvador Dalí and Gala were married in a religious ceremony in 1958 at the Angels Chapel near Girona, Spain. 

In February 1980, both of them fell ill with the flu and never completely recovered from it. Gala passed away on June 10, 1982, in Port Lligat and was laid to rest in her castle in Púbol, Spain.

Where was Gala Dalí buried?

Gala Dalí was buried in the Castle of Púbol, Spain, a gift from her husband, Salvador Dali. 

Purchased in 1969, the castle served as Gala’s retreat and, ultimately, her final resting place upon her death in 1982. 

It symbolizes Dalí’s devotion, housing art and memories of their life together, fulfilling Gala’s final wish.

Can I take pictures inside the Pubol Castle?

You can take pictures inside the Dalí museums, but no flash or other photographic equipment is allowed. 

If this rule is violated, the museum staff will temporarily hold onto your camera until you complete your visit. 

To share or publish images taken inside the museum, you need prior authorization and rights clearance. 

What are the closing dates for the Castle of Pubol?

The Castle of Púbol has specific closure times throughout the year:

1 January to 7 January: Closed on 1 January.

8 January to 29 February: Closed for the entire period.

1 March to 14 March: Closed on Mondays.

15 March to 30 June: Closed on Mondays, with exceptions on 25 March, 1 April, 6 May, 20 May, and 24 June.

1 July to 8 September: Open every day, no closures.

9 September to 3 November: Closed on Mondays, except for 23 September.

4 November to 31 December: Closed on Mondays and 25 December, but open on 30 December.

Featured Image: Coolplaces.co.uk

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