Livraria Lello (Porto) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - TripAdvisorEver since I saw a photo of Livraria Lello, known commonly as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, I was seduced into seeing it for myself. But there was a problem. A queue to go in was stretching half way down the street so after a quick rethink I turned away in pursuit of quieter corners. It was Saturday afternoon after all so I should have expected the crowds. Livraria Lello might be small but it can hardly call itself a hidden gem. Part of its popularity can also be thanked to J. Rowling who was a regular customer whilst she lived in Porto teaching English as a foreign language in the early 90s, and more importantly, where she wrote the beginning chapters of Harry Potter.
Livraria Lello – A Bookstore Beyond Beautiful in Porto
Along with Bertrand in Lisbon , it is one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal and frequently rated among the top bookstores in the world placing third in lists by guidebook publisher Lonely Planet and The Guardian. In , the Chardron Bookstore acquired the establishments of A. The brothers hired engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves to construct the new bookstore on Rua das Carmelitas. Beginning in July , the bookstore began requesting entrance fees for visitors. The work took two months to produce. The bookstore was frequented by JK Rowling , author of the Harry Potter series, when she taught English in Porto and is reported to be an inspiration for her writing. The rectangular plan covers two-stories, representing a simple mass, covered in tiled roof.
I discovered this place long before my trip - and didn't even know about the significance to the Harry Potter books. You do need to buy tickets and stand in a queue, but the line moves very quickly, and if you purchase anything, the fee Queues were long and inside looked to be cramped. Never made it in but I wanted a picture. I went back at night and Livraria Lello was all lit up outside and no one about as the shop was closed.
In fact, it is constantly listed in the top bookstores in the world. The building first opened in and is designed by architect Xavier Esteves. Step inside, and you have a wonderland of stunning design, intricate decoration and volumes of books. From floor to ceiling ornate painted plaster provides a rich texture. Pillars are decorated with bronze bas-reliefs of Portuguese literature figures. Glass enclosed bookcases arch at the top.
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