Many have said that it is “The most beautiful bookstore in the world” and we can attest to it.
The Neo-Gothic building of 1906, which is the home to the Lello Bookstore in Porto, Portugal, receives thousands of visitors from all over the world every day, who, like us, do not miss the opportunity to have the unique experience of this fabulous space.
The neo-gothic facade is impressive in itself. You can see two figures on each side of the central window. One of the figures symbolizes Art, holding one sculpture and the other, Science, showing one of the symbols of anthropology.
The brothers responsible for creating this wonderful space were the brothers José and António Lello, known as the united brothers. They were part of a circle of bourgeois and intellectual assets of Oporto. As republicans, they are actively involved in public life, in the industrial and commercial development of the city and in its cultural activity, at that turn of the century.
The staircase that is an amazing piece that has some beautiful details. Its shape gives the impression that it is a light piece and when climbing it would seem that it can fall with our weight. We assure you that besides being beautiful, it is safe.
And if climbing the stairs of the Lello Bookshop is an experience, looking up and see the stained glass window (located on the roof of the upper floor) is a marvel. It is a glass structure with 8 meters long and 3.5 meters wide.
The badge or logo that reads “Decus in Labore” (Dignity in Work), linked in the monogram of the Lello brothers, recalls the golden rule that applies to all those who enter this house of knowledge.
While walking through the upper floor of the library, you can see the architectural details of the building; the handrail in wood carving, the Art Deco notes on the walls and the columns that rise from the lower floor.
The ceiling of the ground floor looks like wood when it really is painted plaster, a technique also used in the ornaments of the staircase.
TIME magazine, in indicated in the article of “The Coolest Bookstores From Around The World:
“Rumors are that J. K. Rowling was inspired by the Lello Bookstore while writing the Harry Potter novels (and taught English classes) in Portugal. It is not difficult to recognize the potential of Lello as a muse: a stained glass atrium that enhances the deep red staircase of the bookstore, spectacular enough to stop her in her tracks. “