Sunday, October 2, 2016

Gala's Castle (Pubol), Castell d'Empordaria, Paratallada and Pals

Cycling Dali's Landscapes in Spain's Costa Brava - Day 6 and 7

Day 7 began with a shuttle trip to Pubol; home of the caslte Salvador Dali gave to his wife Gala. After our tour we saddled up to ride through some lovely Catalan countryside.

"I give you a gothic castle"
       Salvador Dali

"I accept on one condition, that you only come to visit me by written invitation"
       Gala Dali

At the age of 66 (in 1970) surrealist artist Salvador Dali purchased and restored a castle in Pubol for his wife and muse Gala. 

Russian born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova was 10 years older than Dali. She was given the name Gala  to by her first husband Paul Eluard.

Dali's Muse and Wife Gala

At the time of the gift Dali and Gala had been married to for 36 years. In order to enable their marriage they sought (and received) a special Papal dispensation due to Gala's had previous marriage with Eluard (with whom she had a daughter Cecille). Gala hated motherhood ultimately abandoning Cecille (who passed away in 2016).

Throughout their marriage Dali and Gala engaged in a series of affairs (her lovers included Max Ernst, Andre Breton and her former husband Eluard). Dali encouraged her affairs. 

Gala was fond of entertaining young male "friends" in her castle.

Gala Entertained by a Friend
(Re-photo of a photograph on display in Gala's castle)

Gala appears in numerous works by Dali and he signed her name along with his  own to much of his art. Gala managed the wildly lucrative finances of Dali's artistic empire and died in 1982. She is buried in the crypt below the castle.

Gala's Main Hall
The first space a visitor experiences is a grand hall. The hall is ccomplete with a throne where Dali met the media. His crown (made of of forks) sits near the crown.

The Coffee Table Horse
Like much of Dali's life things are never quite what they seem. A closer inspection of the glass top coffee table in the living room reveals a stuffed full size horse in hte room below..

Dali Touches Are Added Everywhere

Warrior Medallion

Seated In Front of the Warrior Medallion
(Photo from the web, attributed to Alan Warren)

Original Pool

Gala's swimming pool has been converted into a reflection pool. It is fed by trickling water from the mouth of a pretty scary looking Monkfish Dali designed. Dali was fascinated by certain animals (giraffes; which he deemed a mistake of nature for example).

Gala's Crypt

The side-by-side second crypt (with a hole between them to hold hands in death) was for Dali. He was instead entombed in his museum. 

Visiting the castle provides a unique window into the souls of two of the world's most prolific and eccentric humans of any era.

From Gala's Castel we completed our 19 mile bike ride to our spectacular hilltop Hotel Castell d'Empordaria. This spectacular hotel has just 38 rooms all with amazing views over the farmlands of Costa Brava. Interestingly Dali also tried to purchase this castle from previous owner's. 

He offered his artwork as payment. 

The owners declined. 

Approaching the hotel from the River Daro.
The current owner has restored and added on to the castle creating a spectacular property. On days when Tramontane winds rush from the Pyrenees the hotels outdoor spaces are protected by elaborately placed wind screens. Our visit included warm, sunny and calm wind days.

The Hotel and its Outdoor Pavilions 

Day 7
Today we rode 26 miles through the lovely medieval villages of Paratallada and Pals (where we lunched).

 The Medieval Village of Pals

Our Bikes in Pals

A Street Scene From Parratalada

So far our days have been blessed with abundant sunshine accompanied by perfect temperatures for biking.

Roadboy's Travels © 2016

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