“Livraria Lello has housed men of arts and letters, has been the inspiration for acclaimed authors, a place for social gatherings, performances and a serene library for many of Invicta’s avid readers.”
This is how Livraria Lello describes itself and we couldn’t agree more. Beatriz Maia went to the most beautiful bookstore in Porto and the world to tell you everything about it. Reed more to see how it was:
Livraria Lello as we know it, opened in 1906 by the Lello brothers, men of the arts, letters and culture. Everyone who walks by Rua das Carmelitas can’t help but to be stunned by the façade of the bookshop. The façade has a neo-gothic style that is amazing by itself.
The façade has a neo-gothic style that is amazing by itself. However, the façade has to share some of the attention with two amazing figures that symbolize both art and science.
Recently restored, the responsible for the bookshop wanted to make sure that the façade turned out to be the closest as the 1906’s original.
Walking in the Livraria Lello, we’re immediately overwhelmed by the famous staircase. This is a feeling that many can’t describe, is best for you to see it with your own eyes. Also, in its interior, it’s possible to see sculptors from famous Portuguese authors like Eça de Queiroz, Antero Quental, amongst others.
Going up the staircase, you can observe Art Decó notes that rise from the lower floor.
Still in the lower floor, you can see some rare books, some with the same date as the opening of the bookshop and some 1st editions.
There is also something that made Livraria Lello known worldwide: being J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for the Harry Potter books.
The fans can immediately recognize all the things that inspired the Harry Potter author, including the famous staircase.
J.K. Rowling lived in Porto for ten years as an English teacher and she used to spend her free time at the 2nd floor of the bookshop, drinking coffee and writing the Philosopher’s Stone. Once a year, Livraria Lello gets filled with fans with their wands and cloches to celebrate a night full of magic.
The entrance ticket costs 5, 50 € and you can buy it on Livraria Lello website, which I recommend vividly if you want to avoid long queues. The entrance value is deductible in book buying’s. Buy one just for souvenir of an amazing experience.
Livraria Lello receives daily, thousands of visitors, so if you are a book lover, an art lover, a magic lover or if you just love the city, Livraria Lello is a mandatory place for all who visit Porto. It’s at Rua das Carmelitas, 144 Porto, and its opened Monday to Saturday from 10am until 7:30pm.