Livraria Lello – Porto, Portugal - Atlas Obscura

Livraria Lello

One of the most beautiful bookstores in the world hides a neo-Gothic interior behind an art nouveau facade. 


When you first enter Porto’s Livraria Lello, you might think that you’ve entered a church instead of a bookstore.

Its art nouveau façade hides a beautiful Neo-Gothic interior, with a stained glass ceiling, carved wood paneling, and a breathtaking, curvaceous staircase that stretches across the store. 

Designed by Xavier Esteves, over the windows can be seen figures painted by José Bielman, representing “Science” and “Art.” Along with a stained glass window bearing a monogram of “Lello and Brother” with their motto Decus in Labore (“Honor in Work”), are plant motifs and geometric shapes.

Opened in 1906, Livraria Lello is an established bookstore, but it has certainly aged well over the years. It is consistently named one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.

Know Before You Go

It is recommended that you purchase a ticket for entrance ahead of time - there is now a ticket office to pre-buy your entry at the corner to the left of the Livraria, or you can do so online. Be prepared for crowds of Potter-heads.

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