One of the oldest bookstores in the world, founded in 1906, Lello Bookstore is part of the historical heritage ofPorto. Many would argue this is the most iconic bookstore in the world, with huge literary figures finding refuge in its walls. The Guardian has ranked Lello as the third-best bookstore in the world. Let’s take a look at the history and architecture of Lello Bookstore and what you can expect when visiting.
The Lello Bookstore holds within its walls a rich history that stretches back to the early 20th century. Founded in 1906 by the visionary Lello brothers, José and António, this bookstore embarked on a journey that would make it a cultural icon in Portugal and beyond.
The Lello Bookstore quickly became a hub for literary enthusiasts and intellectuals during a time of vibrant cultural awakening in Porto. Its shelves lined with a diverse collection of books attracted both locals and travelers, creating an atmosphere of intellectual exchange.
The design of the Lello Bookstore is truly captivating, blending two styles – neo-gothic and art nouveau – to create a stunning visual experience as soon as you step inside. The outside is adorned with fancy carvings and decorations that welcome you into a world of literary magic.
Once inside, you’ll notice an amazing staircase that’s like a work of art. The way it’s crafted from wood and designed is really special. As you go up the stairs, there’s a beautiful skylight made of colorful glass that fills the space with a warm and inviting light.
One of the coolest things about the bookstore is its bookshelves that go from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. Inside, you’ll also see some pretty stained glass windows, really detailed plasterwork, and other fancy touches that make you feel like you’re stepping into history.
Visiting Times & Tickets
While Lello Bookstore used to be free to enter, this is no longer the case. A regular ticket costs 5 euros, with priority tickets available for around 16 euros.
The bookstore is open every day from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm but is closed on December 25th, January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st, and June 24th.
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