Dolmen de Dalí – Madrid, Spain - Atlas Obscura
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Madrid, Spain

Dolmen de Dalí

The only urban monument in the world designed by the great surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. 

Few people realize that when they walk through the plaza at the end of Felipe II Avenue in Madrid they are passing one of the only monumental squares designed by the great Catalan artist Salvador Dalí. The square is marked with a sculptural monument dedicated to science and technology, centered around a figure of Isaac Newton placed in front of a giant dolmen. 

In 1985, the Madrid City Council took the initiative to dedicate a public space in the city to Dalí, and commissioned the surrealist artist to create a work for the space. Several meetings between Dalí and representatives of the city took place in Figueras, where Dalí lived. Finally he gave his consent to the project, and created two sketches.

In the agreement, it was stipulated that the square would adopt the name “Salvador Dalí” and in it a monumental complex called “El Dolmen de Dalí” would be erected. The stone dolmen, built in granite and rising 43 feet tall, is formed by an oval-shaped natural rock placed horizontally on three carved granite pillars. The bronze sculpture represents an abstract, masculine figure standing on a cubic pedestal of polished black granite. The figure is holding a pendulum, with another one hanging within the hollow chest.

This work is an adaptation of a 1969 Dalí sculpture titled “Homage to Newton,” which in turn is based on a small image represented in his 1949 painting “Phosphene de Laporte.” On each of the pedestal’s four faces is a carved letter, composing the name “Gala,” Dalí’s wife and inspirational muse.

Know Before You Go

Salvador Dalí's Square and the monument are located at the end of Felipe II Avenue (Avenida de Felipe II) in the Salamanca District. The nearest tube station is Goya, reached by lines 2 and 4.