Gala-Dalí Castle, Púbol

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.

The main entrance to Gala and Salvador Dalí's castle in Púbol
Gala Dalí castle, Púbol

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.

The throne room of Gala's Castle in Pubol Spain
Gala’s throne room

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 which 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.

Dali's surreal folly, a Roman style fountain decorated with ceramic portraits of German composer Richard Wagner
Fountain dedicated to Richard Wagner

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 favorite composer Richard Wagner.

Also in the garden are 2 of Dalís cars and a horse drawn carriage which was used in a photo shoot for Vogue magazine.

Ornate surrealist candlesticks ontop of a table covered bt a blue tebleclosth in Gala Dali castle in Pubol Spain
Library, Púbol castle

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 is 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.

5 of Gala's dresses which are on display in Gala Dali Castle at Pubol Spain
Gala’s dresses

Part of the second floor of the castle 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.

Detail of Salvador Dali's ceiling painting in the main hall of Pubol castle near Girona.
Ceiling detail, Púbol castle

Location

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

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Salvador Dali's orange Datsun 610 in the garden of Pubol castle
Salvador Dali’s orange Datsun 610

How to get there

By Car

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.

Compare car hire prices at Rentalcars.com>>

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.

More information about the walking route here>>.

Dining room, Gala Dalí castle Púbol.
Dining room, Gala Dalí castle, Púbol.

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.

Tours

Get Your Guide offer day tours from Barcelona to the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres and Púbol Castle from Barcelona.

Elephant statue in the garden of Gala Dalí castle Púbol (Girona)
Elephant statue

Map

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2 thoughts on “Gala-Dalí Castle, Púbol”

  1. Hi! I’m Mark and my family and I are looking for a barcelona bus to girona city, could you help us? We’re going to stay in barcelona for the next two weeks and we want to discover other towns. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Hi Mark,

      Bus company Sagalés runs 7 buses daily from Barcelona to Girona, the fare is €15.

      Route number 602, the journey takes between an hour and a half and 1 hour 50.

      Bus timetables here

      Personally, when I go to Girona, I prefer to take the train because they’re more frequent and better value for money (cheaper and/or faster).

      Regional trains – approx 2 hours – price €8.40
      Middle Distance trains – 1hr 26 – price €11.25
      AVANT (high-speed trains) – 38 mins – price €17.40

      Train timetables here

      The bus depot and train station (including high-speed) are next to each other, a short distance from the city centre (walkable if you don’t have much luggage).

      Reply

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