All about the Lello bookshop in Porto and its link with Harry Potter, the wizard born from the pen of JK Rowling.
Located on Rua das Carmelitas, in the heart of the city ofPorto (Port), the Livraria Lello e Irmão is one of the most evocative bookshops in the world. Built in 1869 by the architect Francisco Xavier Esteves, the Lello bookshop has become famous for its close relationship with the saga ofHarry Potter, the wizard of Hogwarts born from the pen ofJK Rowling. In fact, it is said that the hall and the central wooden staircase inspired the fairy-tale library of Diagon Alley.
LELLO BOOKSHOP IN PORTO: HISTORY AND STRUCTURE
A fleeting glance at the entrance is enough to understand that, behind that neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau façade, the Lello bookshop hides a world full of magic. Who visits the town ofPortohe knows that this is, without a doubt, one of the obligatory stages.
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The scent that reigns inside the Livraria Lello is that of the purest culture. Thousands of books dominate the wooden shelves and seem to envelop visitors in a warm warmth. The central hall, characterized by apicturesque staircase with amaranth red steps, is surmounted by a plaster roof that dazzles with the colors of gold and blue. The upper floor is then made up of columns that end in a large colored window which makes everything even more bewitching.
The original name of the library wasInternational Library of Ernesto Chardron, in honor of its first owner, but when it passed to the Lello brothers it changed wording and on 13 January 1906, in front of the most famous Portuguese intellectuals of the time, it was officially inaugurated.
LELLO, JK ROWLING AND HARRY POTTER BOOKSHELF
The fame ofLello bookshopis linked to the saga of the most beloved wizard ever, Harry Potter, and to the pen of the writer JK Rowling. But where does this bond come from?
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The English writer JK Rowling taught for several years in the small Portuguese town of Porto and the Lello bookshop was one of the places where she used to spend time. The wooden staircase that dominates the central hall with the high side shelves would have inspired, in particular, the library ofDiagon Alleythat we find in several books of the Harry Potter saga. Even the cloak worn by the students, it is said, would have found inspiration in theblack capesof the university students of thePortugal.
In truth, Rowling has never confirmed these rumors, but she has never denied them either, causing an aura of mystery to rest around Oporto and the Livraria Lello. The “Cathedral of the Book”, as it is defined today, feeds on this magical aura and feeds it with its beauty and elegance.
COSTS AND OPENING HOURS OF THE LELLO BOOKSHOP IN PORTO
The entrance fee for the Livraria Lello in Porto is5 €(redeemable with the purchase of a book). The opening hours are: every day from 10 to 19.
Considering the large turnout, it is advisable to buy tickets online.