The Dali sundial in Paris © French Moments
  • Home
  • Blog
  • Where to find the Salvador Dali Sundial in Paris

Last Updated: 13 June 2020


You don’t need to go inside a museum or an art gallery to enjoy works of art. Paris has this great thing about it that art is accessible to anyone thanks to a great number of sculptures scattered across the French capital. How many visitors know about the Salvador Dali sundial in rue Saint-Jacques? I often walked along the street without knowing it has been there for decades. Follow me to the 5th arrondissement.

The Salvador Dali Sundial in Paris

Paris has 120 sundials scattered across the city. There are found in each arrondissement except in the 17th which has none. One of the most interesting sundials is found at number 27 rue Saint-Jacques.

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) designed it as a present to his friends who owned a boutique at this address.

The Salvador Dali sundial in Paris © French Moments
The Dali sundial in Paris © French Moments

The sundial was cast in concrete. It shows a women-like face in a scallop shell. This refers to the Way of St.James as the pilgrims passed through rue Saint-Jacques. Paris’ oldest street was named about the pilgrimage (Saint-Jacques de Compostelle in French).

Above the blue eyes, the eyebrow are formed by little flames evoking the sun. The hair cascade down to the shoulders… a bit like Dalí’s iconic moustache!

Salvador Dali with ocelot
Salvador Dali with ocelot

The sundial was inaugurated on 15 November 1966 at a ceremony with pomp and large media coverage. Dalí rode up on a bucket truck with his pet Ocelot to engrave his signature and the date. You can see Dalí’s signature and the date at the bottom-right corner of the sundial. Funnily enough, I haven’t found any photos or images on the web about this event… old newspapers may not have been digitalised yet (which makes me think you still can’t find everything on the Internet!!).

The Salvador Dali sundial in Paris © French Moments
The Dali sundial in Paris © French Moments

Well, you can marvel at the sundial but be aware that… it doesn’t work! This is maybe not surprising coming from the prominent Spanish surrealist artist!

Where to find it the Salvador Dali sundial in Paris?

Closest métro stations: Cluny-La Sorbonne (line 10), Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (RER B). 

Did you find what you read interesting? If so, please do share this article on Facebook or twitter!

Inspired? Pin it for later:

 Where to find the Salvador Dali Sundial in Paris © French Moments


Check out our curated magazine on Flipboard for exclusive stories & insights on France!

Gems of Paris by French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

Like it? Leave a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Bonjour Pierre from Dorset, England! I have a sundial site (mostly medieval church dials). It includes some dials from France and Italy. Researching the Dali dial in Paris, I came to your most interesting site. Would you consider giving me use permission – duly credited and with a link – to use your image and some of your helpful explanation? Cordialement, Keith

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Transparency: Some blog posts and pages may contain affiliate or sponsored links. If you are planning a trip, the use of these links helps us to run the site. There is no additional cost to you. All you have to do is click on the link and any booking you make is automatically tracked. Thank you for your support!

Escape to France with every email! Get insider insights, travel guides, cultural gems delivered and exclusive offers to your inbox twice a week. Your journey to Paris and France begins when you sign up!



24 Places to See in France in 2024