Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal
© Nido Huebl/Shutterstoc
Enter the magical world of Livraria Lello
How will you celebrate International Literacy Day today? We're highlighting this important observance with a photo of a very special bookstore, Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal. With its Art Nouveau façade, Neo-Gothic interior, stained-glass ceiling, swooping catwalks, and the dramatic, curvaceous staircase with crimson steps, the Lello is considered one of the most beautiful – and among the oldest – bookstores in the world. If rumours are true, the bookstore cast a spell on J.K. Rowling, inspiring scenery in 'Harry Potter,' such as the Hogwarts floating staircase and the Flourish and Blotts bookshop. (Rowling often visited the Lello when she lived in Porto in the early '90s.) The Lello bookstore opened in 1906 and has been serving up the magic of books ever since.