'The Nobility of Time' - Atlas Obscura

'The Nobility of Time'

In one of the smallest countries in the world stands an original Salvador Dalí sculpture.  


This amazing bronze statue, titled La Noblesse du Temps (The Nobility of Time) is located in Plaça de la Rotonda in the heart of Andorra Vella. The sculpture displaying a melting clock was crafted by none other than the famous Catalan artist Salvador Dalí. The melting clock, most famous in Dalí’s painting The Persistence of Memory, represents the passage of time. The softness of the clock represents how human perception seems to influence the passage of time.

In addition to the melting clock, the statue features several other figures. The clock is mounted on a mighty tree, whose roots penetrate a platform of brick. This theme of decay and renewal is ever-present in Dalí’s work. An angel sits to one side, lost deep in thought, or perhaps in mourning. On the other side, a woman stands up from a bath, looking brightly ahead to the new day. This juxtaposition of uncertainty and courage gives the sculpture a more palpable meaning.

The sculpture was cast in 1984 and visited many cities before being permanently installed in the city’s square in 2010. It stands some five meters tall. It was gifted to the government of Andorra by Enric Sabater, who was Dalí’s agent between 1968 and 1982. Today, it is one of the most notable landmarks of Andorra la Vella.

Know Before You Go

Andorra la Vella is a small city of about 5 square miles with a population of nearly 23, 000. There are many places to stay, several good restaurants, and most things are within walking distance. To learn more, you can visit the tourist information center just a few yards from Dalí’s statue. There are many interesting stores and some fabulous architecture located nearby. 

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November 23, 2019
January 31, 2024

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