Have you ever read or watched any of the Harry Potter books or movies? If so, then discover this bookshop which was J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for the Flourish and Blotts Bookshop on Dragon Alley where most of the Hogwarts’ students bought their books.
Actually, I found out later that this is not a library, but rather one of the oldest, most beautiful bookshops in Porto…and perhaps in the world!
The Lello brothers opened their bookshop and publishing house in 1881. A few years late, engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves envisioned a new look for the bookshop and in 1906, it reopened with the new architectural shape that we see today. The invention of reinforced cement made some of these wonders possible. It was a huge success and soon, news about the bookshop spread beyond Porto.
As soon as I walked in, I was amazed by this most unusual staircase:
Here is the staircase from the back. There were lots of visitors when I went!
The decorations reminded me of another world, maybe just a little bit spooky…
And these windows…wow!
Looking up, I saw the amazing stained glass window in the ceiling allowing the natural light to flood the shop. And in the middle of the stained glass, is the Lello brothers’ motto: “Decus in labore” which means “Honor in work.”
José Lello loved literature. He came to Porto with a dream of starting a bookshop. Soon his brother, Antonio joined him in the work. As you have seen, there motto was “Honor in work,” and at last, they did achieve their goal.
Do you have a motto? How do you propose to accomplish your dreams?
Your book-loving, dreaming friend,