Situated in the centre of a large fluvial plain, Figueres is the capital of the Alt Empordà region, which serves as the area’s economic, commercial, social and cultural centre. The tourism in this area has made Figueres the nerve centre of the Costa Brava. Thanks to its geographical position it has become an important strategic communications hub, therefore making access to the city very easy. The main cultural attraction of Figueres is its museums, which house the town’s artistic and cultural heritage. Visiting them will give us an important insight into the town and its past.
They include the Dalí Theatre- Museum, which was designed by the painter himself and houses many exhibits of works by this brilliant artist from Figueres, allowing visitors to see his artistic progression; the Toy Museum of Catalonia has an important collection of toys from all periods that will be sure to transport visitors back to their childhood; the Empordà Museum, the town’s oldest museum, which shows visitors the region’s history and art; and lastly, the Empordà Technology Museum, which explores the first steps in modern technology, helping us to understand the keys to the change from a traditional trade-based system to an industrial society.
The castle of Sant Ferran is an 18th century military fortification (1753- 1766) designed by the architects Pere M. Cermeño and Joan M. Cermeño. It is the biggest monument in Catalonia and the fortress with the largest bastions of its time in Europe.
One of the most emblematic places in Figueres is La Rambla, the town’s main avenue. It goes back to 1828, when the old riverbed Galligans watercourse was covered; it has been restored twice since then. The Town Hall square is Medieval in origin. The neoclassical arcades were altered in the first half of the 19th century and the Gala i Salvador Dalí square is also Medieval. A project in a Neoclassical style was undertaken in the 19th century involving the square, Casa Romaguera and the building that is now the Dalí Theatre-Museum.
The church of Sant Pere, in the Plaça de l’Església square, goes back to the 10th-11th century. A new church was built in the 14th century for King Peter the Ceremonious. It was subsequently restored in the 18th century, at the end of the 19th century and between 1941 and 1948, after the Civil War. Another place of interest is the monastery of the Capuchin monks, from the second half of the 18th century and the Galatea tower, with the remains of a Medieval wall, and the old Casa Gorgot tower (17th century), which was altered in 1931.
Lastly, we should mention the monument to Salvador Dalí, a sculpture in the form of a 24-metre-high metal cypress tree designed by Òscar Tusquets in 2002.