The Gala-Dalí Castle at Púbol is one of the three vertices of the so-called Dalinian triangle.
More sombre and austere than the couple’s home in Portlligat. The castle was Gala’s private refuge and contains a collection of her dresses, personal belongings and works of art which Dalí painted for her.
History of the Gala-Dalí Castle in Púbol
During the 1930s Salvador Dali promised Gala that he would buy her a palace. Years later, in 1969 he finally purchased a ruined 12th-century castle in Púbol, a tiny village near Girona.
More of a fortified manor house than a castle (there are no towers or battlements), Dalí set about restoring and rebuilding the structure in his own inimitable style.
Gala famously accepted the gift with one condition; that Dalí could only visit with her hand-written invitation.
When Gala died in 1982 she was buried in a small mausoleum in the castle’s basement.
After Gala’s death, Dalí moved into the castle where he lived and worked until being badly injured by a fire that broke out in his bedroom. It’s not clear whether the fire was an accident or a suicide attempt.
After the fire, Dalí moved to the Theatre-Museum in Figueres where he died of a heart attack in 1989.
Visiting the Gala-Dalí Castle in Púbol
The entrance to the castle is next to the Church of Sant Pere de Púbol, in the heart of the village (see map below).
Be sure to pick up one of the free leaflets which include a plan of the castle and suggested route for your visit.
From here you can choose whether to go straight into the castle itself or spend some time in the garden.
Hidden among overgrown hedges and shaded by tall London Plane trees, the garden contains a pair of spindly-legged elephant statues and a fountain dedicated to Dali’s favourite composer Richard Wagner.
Also in the garden are 2 of Dalís cars and a horse-drawn carriage which was used in a photoshoot for Vogue magazine.
The ground floor of the castle houses a left luggage desk and a small shop where you can purchase souvenirs and guidebooks.
From the small courtyard, a stone staircase leads up to the throne room located on the first floor.
The tour continues through the piano room, the library, Gala’s bedroom and bathroom to the kitchen and dining room.
Despite similarities between the castle and the couple’s home in Portlligat, the furnishing and decor here are more restrained and whimsical.
Dalí highlighted the building’s medieval heritage by adorning the walls with coats of arms and paintings which, at first glance, look like ancient tapestries and frescoes.
Part of the castle’s second floor has been converted into a small museum containing Gala’s collection of designer dresses.
The tour ends in the simple crypt which contains twin graves watched over by an odd collection of statues (a giraffe, 2 horses heads and a dismembered body).
Apparently, the tombs are linked and Dali intended to spend eternity holding his beloved wife’s hand.
Plaça Gala Dalí s/n, Púbol
Time needed to visit
You should allow between one and a half and 2 hours to visit the castle and grounds
Entrance: Adults €8.00
How to get there
Púbol is approximately 125km from Barcelona and it takes just over an hour and a half to drive there. The drive is mostly along motorways, allow €10 for tolls.
There’s a car park at the entrance to the village.
By public transport
There are no public transport links to Púbol, however, there are bus services to La Pera (2km from Púbol) and trains to Flaça (6km from Púbol).
Travelling from Barcelona, it’s best to take the train to Flaçà then either walk or take a taxi the 6km to Pubol. Middle Distance and Regional trains take between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. There are frequent departures throughout the day, check timetable here.
If you plan to take a taxi you should book in advance (before boarding the train at Barcelona) because Flaçà is a very small town and there are only about 3 taxis.
The walk from Flaçà train station to Púbol is easy going and scenic and takes just over an hour. For most of the time, you walk along a gravel cycle path.
Travelling from Girona you can either take the train to Flaçà which takes 15 minutes or catch the number 42 bus to La Pera (45 minutes) which is 2km from Púbol and then walk (La Pera is on the walking route from Flaça train station).
Girona bus depot is next to the train station so in theory, you could get the train from Barcelona to Girona and then catch the bus from there to La Pera and only need to walk 2km. In practice, there aren’t many buses per day so I think it makes more sense to catch the train from Barcelona to Flaça and either walk or take a taxi from there to Púbol castle.
Get Your Guide offer day tours from Barcelona to the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres and Púbol Castle from Barcelona.