The origins of Livraria Lello & Irmão date back to 1881, when the brothers José and António Lello opened, in Porto, at Rua do Almada, an establishment dedicated to commerce and book publishing, but it was not yet the Livraria that would become an ex -libris of Porto.
In 1894, José Lello buys Livraria Chardron, along with all its assets, from the company Lugan & Genelioux – Livraria Chardon was founded by Ernesto Chardon, having been the first to publish such high-profile works as Eça de Queirós or de Camilo Castelo Branco.
In 1906, the neo-Gothic building of Livraria Lello was inaugurated, with pomp and circumstance, with the presence of important figures of the height, the neo-Gothic building, in Rua das Carmelitas. The building that emerged from the sumptuous vision of engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves, will mark the building of Cidade Invicta, transforming itself into one of the most beautiful and emblematic bookshops in the world.
The façade – one of the most photographed in Porto – stands out for its colour, for its two windows and for the symbolist panels that represent the figures of Art and Science.
Its interior is absolutely fabulous, combining the Eclectic and Art Nouveau style, where the most diverse details are able to make us travel back in time.
Low reliefs representing the founders – António and José Lello can be seen. Also highlighted are the busts of some of the most important Portuguese writers – Eça de Queirós, Camilo Castelo Branco or Teófilo Braga.
Details such as the imposing ceiling, the huge shelves filled with books, the columns, the broken arches, and the huge stained glass window (8.5 meters long by 3.5 meters wide) that projects natural light onto the fabulous and imposing staircase. red (and which inspired the Hogwarts stairs in the Harry Potter books and movies). A real setting where fantasy and reality merge.
Given the growing number of visitors, in 2015 it forced the visit to be reorganized, with the entrance being paid – a voucher discounted for the purchase of books.
Between 2016 and 2017, Livraria Lello was the target of an intervention, not only to protect its heritage, but also to renovate its interior and restore the façade and stained glass.
Anyone visiting Porto must visit Livraria Lello.
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