Livraria Lello, Porto

Sell­ing books in the most en­chant­ing of set­tings since 1906 by An­drew Day

Timeless Travels Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Of­ten voted ‘the world’s most beau­ti­ful book­shop’, Porto’s famed Livraria Lello – housed in­side a Gothic-style façade – has been de­light­ing book­worms for over 110-years. A short five-minute walk from the city cen­tre, the li­braries ex­quis­ite in­te­rior fea­tures a blood-red twist­ing stair­case, daz­zling stained-glass sky­light and creak­ing par­quet floors with built-in rails for carts which once moved books. In­tri­cately carved wooden shelves are stocked to the rafters with a won­der­land of books: from exotic travel on the up­per floor (where a tiny cof­fee shop can be found), to con­tem­po­rary Por­tuguese tal­ent and lit­er­ary clas­sics and on the ground floor. Cu­ri­ously, part of the Livraria Lello’s pop­u­lar­ity can also be thanked to J.K. Rowl­ing. Back in the nineties the au­thor taught English in the city — and the li­braries faded grandeur is said to have inspired Hog­wart’s ar­chi­tec­ture. Be­ing small, it can get crammed with snap­ping Harry Pot­ter pil­grims, so the store now charges €3 to get in, which is re­deemable against a pur­chase.

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