“Such a beautiful and inspiring space, filled with volumes of knowledge and imagination, kissed by the glittering sunlight filtered through the stained glass.”
Livrario Lello - Porto
Livraria Lello, also known as Livraria Chardron, is located in Porto – just across from the Tower of Clerics, and a mere five minute walk from the city centre. The magnificent bookstore was designed by the architecture Xavier Esteves, and is one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal, with the building first being opened in 1906. The bookstore boasts stunning design and architecture, intricate decoration and volumes of books. One example of the beautiful details of the Livraria Lello are the bronze Portuguese literature figures which decorate the pillars. Furthermore, its twisting staircase was supposedly the inspiration for the famous grand moving staircases of Harry Potter (after J.K.Rowling partly wrote the novel in Porto while working as an English teacher between 1991 – 1993).
When you first enter, the neo-gothic design might trick you into thinking you have entered a church as opposed to a bookstore. However, it is indeed a booktore – the majority of the books offered are Portuguese fiction and non-fiction, although there is still a nice selection of English and French literature available. It comes as no surprise that it is the flagship store for one of the most important Portuguese publishing houses.
If it is a brief visit to acknowledge the architecture, or a long browsing session between the books (there is even coffee offered to keep you refreshed), this gorgeous bookstore is a must visit in Porto!