Most beautiful bookstore in the world: Porto, Portugal.

Most beautiful bookstore in the world: Porto, Portugal.

The Lello Bookstore was built in 1906 in Porto, Portugal by The Lello Brothers (Antonio and Jose) who formerly owned another bookstore a few streets away. Their new bookstore is one of the most ornate bookstores in the world, mixing Neo-Gothic and Art Dec elements (especially the facade, pictured below). Carved wood ceilings, a stain-glassed roof, an undulating, opulent red staircase, and even a built-in wheel-barrow on rails for moving the store’s 120,000 all make the Lello seem like the bookstore out of some fantasy-world (J.K. Rowling herself lived in Porto for a short while).

The bookstore experienced several decades of disrepair, but in 1995 a massive renovation project returned it to its former glory, and now it is as much a tourist-attraction as a bookstore. But oh, what a bookstore. (Be sure to check out the last image below for a glimpse of what the Lello looked like in its early days)

[click on the photo to follow the link]

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