1840

Born in France; Ernesto Chardron.

After living his first 18 years in his land of birth – the Ardennes, in the region of Champagne – Chardron, in 1858, he set off for Oporto.
An uncle of his was friends with Nicolau Moré, the French owner of a bookstore in Portugal’s second city, and sent his nephew into the employment of his friend, who made him a clerk-teller.
In a short period, Chardron had mastered not only the Portuguese language but also the book market.
1840

Born in France; Ernesto Chardron.

After living his first 18 years in his land of birth – the Ardennes, in the region of Champagne – Chardron, in 1858, he set off for Oporto.
An uncle of his was friends with Nicolau Moré, the French owner of a bookstore in Portugal’s second city, and sent his nephew into the employment of his friend, who made him a clerk-teller.
In a short period, Chardron had mastered not only the Portuguese language but also the book market.
1840

1846

Oporto sees the inauguration of the Circo Theatre, the predecessor of the Sá da Bandeira Theatre.

1846

Oporto sees the inauguration of the Circo Theatre, the predecessor of the Sá da Bandeira Theatre.

1862

Livraria Moré publishes the first edition of Amor de Perdição by Camilo Castelo Branco.

In 1862, Livraria Moré published the greatest success of Camilo Castelo Branco. Henceforth, the relationship between the author and Chardron was to deepen and to such an extent that years later, the author became its senior editor.

1862

Livraria Moré publishes the first edition of Amor de Perdição by Camilo Castelo Branco.

In 1862, Livraria Moré published the greatest success of Camilo Castelo Branco. Henceforth, the relationship between the author and Chardron was to deepen and to such an extent that years later, the author became its senior editor.

1867

The Circo Theatre undergoes demolition to make way for the Príncipe Real Theatre.

1867

The Circo Theatre undergoes demolition to make way for the Príncipe Real Theatre.

1869

Ernesto Chardron opens the Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron in Oporto after having won the lottery.

A major stroke of luck would change the life of Chardron.

The bookstore owner won the top prize in a lottery and deployed the sum – 8 or 10 contos de réis, according to Ramalho Ortigão in the third volume of As Farpas (The Barbs) – to open up his own business and correspondingly founding the Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron on Rua dos Clérigos in 1869. In addition to the bookstore, he also became an editor, with a daring and courageous policy that was then unusual in Portugal. In a relatively short period of time, he published a large number of books by the best Portuguese and French writers. His catalogue, today part of the Livraria Lello collection, ran to over 600 pages!

1869

Ernesto Chardron opens the Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron in Oporto after having won the lottery.

A major stroke of luck would change the life of Chardron.

The bookstore owner won the top prize in a lottery and deployed the sum – 8 or 10 contos de réis, according to Ramalho Ortigão in the third volume of As Farpas (The Barbs) – to open up his own business and correspondingly founding the Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron on Rua dos Clérigos in 1869. In addition to the bookstore, he also became an editor, with a daring and courageous policy that was then unusual in Portugal. In a relatively short period of time, he published a large number of books by the best Portuguese and French writers. His catalogue, today part of the Livraria Lello collection, ran to over 600 pages!

1881

José Pinto de Sousa Lello opens his first bookstore.

José Pinto de Sousa Lello, a man of culture, and a lover of books and music, dreamed of becoming a bookdealer and, in 1881, set off from the small town of Santa Marta de Penaguião, in the Douro Region, to achieve his dream.

He then opened his first bookstore on Rua do Almada in Oporto all the while not knowing that the building that would carry his name for the next century was located a few blocks away.

1881

José Pinto de Sousa Lello opens his first bookstore.

José Pinto de Sousa Lello, a man of culture, and a lover of books and music, dreamed of becoming a bookdealer and, in 1881, set off from the small town of Santa Marta de Penaguião, in the Douro Region, to achieve his dream.

He then opened his first bookstore on Rua do Almada in Oporto all the while not knowing that the building that would carry his name for the next century was located a few blocks away.

1885

Chardron dies aged 45...

...and the Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron is purchased by the Lugan e Genelioux company.
1885

Chardron dies aged 45...

...and the Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron is purchased by the Lugan e Genelioux company.

1888

The Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron publishes the first edition of Os Maias by Eça de Queirós.

The correspondence between Eça de Queiroz and Chardron, which we preserve in the Livraria Lello collection, tells how Os Maias had been planned as a novel running to 180 to 200 pages. In practice, the work took shape and gained volume over the course of a decade and ended up with 925 pages and, in its original edition, published in two volumes.

1888

The Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron publishes the first edition of Os Maias by Eça de Queirós.

The correspondence between Eça de Queiroz and Chardron, which we preserve in the Livraria Lello collection, tells how Os Maias had been planned as a novel running to 180 to 200 pages. In practice, the work took shape and gained volume over the course of a decade and ended up with 925 pages and, in its original edition, published in two volumes.

1894

José Pinto de Sousa Lello acquires the Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron and all of its contents.

José Pinto de Sousa Lello, already operating as a company with his brother António Lello, gained all of the rights to the editions of all authors published by Chardron. In addition to this valuable catalogue, the Lello brothers also purchased the editorial collection of Livraria Lemos & Cª in 1898.

1894

José Pinto de Sousa Lello acquires the Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron and all of its contents.

José Pinto de Sousa Lello, already operating as a company with his brother António Lello, gained all of the rights to the editions of all authors published by Chardron. In addition to this valuable catalogue, the Lello brothers also purchased the editorial collection of Livraria Lemos & Cª in 1898.

1896

Aurélio Paz dos Reis exhibits the first ever Portuguese produced film at the Príncipe Real Theatre.

Aurélio Paz dos Reis
1896

Aurélio Paz dos Reis exhibits the first ever Portuguese produced film at the Príncipe Real Theatre.

Aurélio Paz dos Reis

1906

The Lello brothers inaugurate, at number 144 on Rua das Carmelitas, on 13th January, the current Livraria Lello building designed by Francisco Xavier Esteves.

This inauguration took place in an ambience studded with the leading figures...

This inauguration took place in an ambience studded with the leading figures of that time, including the writer Guerra Junqueiro, the director of O Comércio, Bento Carqueja, the writer Júlio Brandão and Aurélio Paz dos Reis, the founding father of cinema in Portugal.

1906

The Lello brothers inaugurate, at number 144 on Rua das Carmelitas, on 13th January, the current Livraria Lello building designed by Francisco Xavier Esteves.

This inauguration took place in an ambience studded with the leading figures...

This inauguration took place in an ambience studded with the leading figures of that time, including the writer Guerra Junqueiro, the director of O Comércio, Bento Carqueja, the writer Júlio Brandão and Aurélio Paz dos Reis, the founding father of cinema in Portugal.

1910

Following the declaration of the Republic, the Príncipe Real Theatre changed its name to the Sá da Bandeira Theatre.

1910

Following the declaration of the Republic, the Príncipe Real Theatre changed its name to the Sá da Bandeira Theatre.

1935

The company name of the entity holding Livraria Lello is changed to Livraria Lello & Irmão, Lda.

After a transition period in which the title Livraria Chardron de Lello & Irmão...

The company name of the entity holding Livraria Lello is changed to Livraria Lello & Irmão, Lda.

After a transition period in which the title Livraria Chardron de Lello & Irmão prevailed, the name Livraria Lello & Irmão began to come into usage and, in 1935, officially became the designation for the Bookstore and the Publisher. However, right through to contemporary times, the Livraria Lello facade continues to feature the name of Chardron in honour of the man greatly responsible for its priceless legacy.

1935

The company name of the entity holding Livraria Lello is changed to Livraria Lello & Irmão, Lda.

After a transition period in which the title Livraria Chardron de Lello & Irmão...

The company name of the entity holding Livraria Lello is changed to Livraria Lello & Irmão, Lda.

After a transition period in which the title Livraria Chardron de Lello & Irmão prevailed, the name Livraria Lello & Irmão began to come into usage and, in 1935, officially became the designation for the Bookstore and the Publisher. However, right through to contemporary times, the Livraria Lello facade continues to feature the name of Chardron in honour of the man greatly responsible for its priceless legacy.

1920-1950

In this period, Livraria Lello becomes one of the leading exporters and importers of literature in Portugal.

For the first time, the entire works of Shakespeare...

In this period, Livraria Lello becomes one of the leading exporters and importers of literature in Portugal.

For the first time, the entire works of Shakespeare were translated and published in Portuguese along with other world renowned authors such as Alexandre Dumas, Gustave Flaubert, Miguel de Cervantes, Victor Hugo and Charles Darwin.

The bookstore also built up strong commercial and institutional bonds with the Brazilian and African markets.

1920-1950

In this period, Livraria Lello becomes one of the leading exporters and importers of literature in Portugal.

For the first time, the entire works of Shakespeare...

In this period, Livraria Lello becomes one of the leading exporters and importers of literature in Portugal.

For the first time, the entire works of Shakespeare were translated and published in Portuguese along with other world renowned authors such as Alexandre Dumas, Gustave Flaubert, Miguel de Cervantes, Victor Hugo and Charles Darwin.

The bookstore also built up strong commercial and institutional bonds with the Brazilian and African markets.

1993

Undertaking the first restoration and conservation works on Livraria Lello.

At this time, the emblematic staircase, hitherto brown...

Undertaking the first restoration and conservation works on Livraria Lello.

At this time, the emblematic staircase, hitherto brown, through a misunderstanding with the painter, ended up red. Right before this error was due to begin correction, Master Sculptor José Rodrigues saw the staircase in its new colour and was left enchanted by the effect.

1993

Undertaking the first restoration and conservation works on Livraria Lello.

At this time, the emblematic staircase, hitherto brown...

Undertaking the first restoration and conservation works on Livraria Lello.

At this time, the emblematic staircase, hitherto brown, through a misunderstanding with the painter, ended up red. Right before this error was due to begin correction, Master Sculptor José Rodrigues saw the staircase in its new colour and was left enchanted by the effect.

2006

Livraria Lello gets referred to for the first time as “The Most Beautiful Bookshop in the World”, by the Spanish writer Enrique Vila-Matas in an article published in El País.

In 2008, The Guardian newspaper considered the bookstore one of the finest in the world...

Livraria Lello gets referred to for the first time as “The Most Beautiful Bookshop in the World”, by the Spanish writer Enrique Vila-Matas in an article published in El País.

In 2008, The Guardian newspaper considered the bookstore one of the finest in the world. In 2011, the editor of the Lonely Planet travel guides also stated this ranked as one of the best bookstores in the world, “a pearl of art nouveau".

Already into 2015, Time magazine placed Lello as among the most interesting bookstores in the world while highlighting its historical and artistic value and CNN again referred to us as the most beautiful in the world. In 2016, it was the turn of National Geographic to nominate Livraria Lello as one of the prettiest on the planet. Nowadays, Livraria Lello features on all reference lists for the world’s most iconic bookstores.

2006

Livraria Lello gets referred to for the first time as “The Most Beautiful Bookshop in the World”, by the Spanish writer Enrique Vila-Matas in an article published in El País.

In 2008, The Guardian newspaper considered the bookstore one of the finest in the world...

Livraria Lello gets referred to for the first time as “The Most Beautiful Bookshop in the World”, by the Spanish writer Enrique Vila-Matas in an article published in El País.

In 2008, The Guardian newspaper considered the bookstore one of the finest in the world. In 2011, the editor of the Lonely Planet travel guides also stated this ranked as one of the best bookstores in the world, “a pearl of art nouveau".

Already into 2015, Time magazine placed Lello as among the most interesting bookstores in the world while highlighting its historical and artistic value and CNN again referred to us as the most beautiful in the world. In 2016, it was the turn of National Geographic to nominate Livraria Lello as one of the prettiest on the planet. Nowadays, Livraria Lello features on all reference lists for the world’s most iconic bookstores.

2013

Livraria Lello receives its classification as a Monument of Public Interest by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage.

2013

Livraria Lello receives its classification as a Monument of Public Interest by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage.

2015

Beginning of Livraria Lello’s “second life” driven by the acquisition of a 51% holding by the Pedro Pinto family.

The Mission is defined as the campaign to preserve the book and the ambition of getting the entire world to read.
2015

Beginning of Livraria Lello’s “second life” driven by the acquisition of a 51% holding by the Pedro Pinto family.

The Mission is defined as the campaign to preserve the book and the ambition of getting the entire world to read.

2015

Livraria Lello introduces an innovative voucher system.

To aid in transforming visitors into readers, the voucher system was designed. Entrance was now charged for with this amount entirely deductible against the purchase of books.
Henceforth, the sale of books skyrocketed opening the way for the proposed mission: getting the whole world reading and boosting the profile of Portuguese literature to readers from all four corners of the world.
2015

Livraria Lello introduces an innovative voucher system.

To aid in transforming visitors into readers, the voucher system was designed. Entrance was now charged for with this amount entirely deductible against the purchase of books.
Henceforth, the sale of books skyrocketed opening the way for the proposed mission: getting the whole world reading and boosting the profile of Portuguese literature to readers from all four corners of the world.
2015

2016

The Armazéns do Castelo opens as a support facility for Livraria Lello activities.

The bookstore entrance voucher began to be sold in Armazéns do Castelo. With a space for storing prams, travel bags and other large objects, this new facility makes visits to Livraria Lello a more comfortable experience at a time when visitor and reader numbers were steadily on the rise.
2016

The Armazéns do Castelo opens as a support facility for Livraria Lello activities.

The bookstore entrance voucher began to be sold in Armazéns do Castelo. With a space for storing prams, travel bags and other large objects, this new facility makes visits to Livraria Lello a more comfortable experience at a time when visitor and reader numbers were steadily on the rise.

2018

The set of thorough restoration and conservation works ends and restores ends

and restores to the world the Livraria Lello building with all of its 1906 splendour, opening to the public the entire Livraria Lello floorspace, left partially “invisible” up to this point and used for administrative tasks.

Following investment in excess of 2 million euros, the façade is restored to its original colours, the much celebrated glass display is cleaned and restored for the first time and the entire building underwent a through refurbishment in order to restore its beauty as depicted in 1906.

2018

The set of thorough restoration and conservation works ends and restores ends

and restores to the world the Livraria Lello building with all of its 1906 splendour, opening to the public the entire Livraria Lello floorspace, left partially “invisible” up to this point and used for administrative tasks.

Following investment in excess of 2 million euros, the façade is restored to its original colours, the much celebrated glass display is cleaned and restored for the first time and the entire building underwent a through refurbishment in order to restore its beauty as depicted in 1906.

2018

Livraria Lello resumes its editorial activities and launches a classics collection: The Collection.

Livraria Lello begins publishing exclusive editions of some of the greatest classics of universal literature.

The Collection is made up of pocket books, with truly charming designs and surprising prefaces written by leading figures in contemporary society.

2018

Livraria Lello resumes its editorial activities and launches a classics collection: The Collection.

Livraria Lello begins publishing exclusive editions of some of the greatest classics of universal literature.

The Collection is made up of pocket books, with truly charming designs and surprising prefaces written by leading figures in contemporary society.

discover more

2018

Livraria Lello acquires the building at 148, on Rua das Carmelitas, located immediately alongside the bookstore with the objective of dedicating it to culture in the near future.

2018

Livraria Lello acquires the building at 148, on Rua das Carmelitas, located immediately alongside the bookstore with the objective of dedicating it to culture in the near future.

2019

Launching of the Livraria Lello – Eduardo Lourenço Prize.

Livraria Lello established one of the largest private cultural prizes in Europe which, every two years, shall pay homage to living personalities from the fields of literature, science and thinking.

In its first edition, this was awarded to the greatest contemporary Portuguese thinker, Professor Eduardo Lourenço (23 May 1923 – 1 December 2020), and rendered this homage eternal by baptising this award with his name.

2019

Launching of the Livraria Lello – Eduardo Lourenço Prize.

Livraria Lello established one of the largest private cultural prizes in Europe which, every two years, shall pay homage to living personalities from the fields of literature, science and thinking.

In its first edition, this was awarded to the greatest contemporary Portuguese thinker, Professor Eduardo Lourenço (23 May 1923 – 1 December 2020), and rendered this homage eternal by baptising this award with his name.

2019

2019

Livraria Lello launches the world’s first ever book takeover bid.

Livraria Lello accepts as its mission the valuation of the book as an object of investment.

In an absolutely innovative approach, this saw the launch of a takeover bid for first editions of Os Lusíadas, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone and Gazeta da Restauração, the first Portuguese periodical. The last two works were acquired with Livraria Lello continuing the search for the first to add to the treasures among its collection.

2019

Livraria Lello launches the world’s first ever book takeover bid.

Livraria Lello accepts as its mission the valuation of the book as an object of investment.

In an absolutely innovative approach, this saw the launch of a takeover bid for first editions of Os Lusíadas, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone and Gazeta da Restauração, the first Portuguese periodical. The last two works were acquired with Livraria Lello continuing the search for the first to add to the treasures among its collection.

2019

Livraria Lello purchases the Sá da Bandeira Theatre at a public auction.

Livraria Lello invested 3.5 million euros on the purchase of the oldest theatre in the city of Oporto at a public auction held by the Municipal Council, which acquired the site in 2017.

The two institutions, both protected and classified monuments, historical to the city and the country, are now united behind the mission of valuing culture and heritage.

2019

Livraria Lello purchases the Sá da Bandeira Theatre at a public auction.

Livraria Lello invested 3.5 million euros on the purchase of the oldest theatre in the city of Oporto at a public auction held by the Municipal Council, which acquired the site in 2017.

The two institutions, both protected and classified monuments, historical to the city and the country, are now united behind the mission of valuing culture and heritage.

2020

Opening of the first Book Drive-Thru in the world.

With its doors closed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Livraria Lello wished to continue with its mission of getting the entire world to read.

With its doors closed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Livraria Lello wished to continue with its mission of getting the entire world to read and, considering the book an essential good, began offering one edition per day in a drive-thru system. Throughout the entire month of April, a total of over 10,000 books was thus distributed.

2020

Opening of the first Book Drive-Thru in the world.

With its doors closed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Livraria Lello wished to continue with its mission of getting the entire world to read.

With its doors closed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Livraria Lello wished to continue with its mission of getting the entire world to read and, considering the book an essential good, began offering one edition per day in a drive-thru system. Throughout the entire month of April, a total of over 10,000 books was thus distributed.

2020

2020

Livraria Lello ran one of the best participated literature competitions of all time.

During the first lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Livraria Lello staged liberation through writing with a short-story competition.

This was one of the best participated competitions of its type worldwide: attracting over 5,600 submissions from 39 different countries. A total of six winners were selected that, in addition to their financial prize, saw their works published by Livraria Lello in a multilingual collective edition.

2020

Livraria Lello ran one of the best participated literature competitions of all time.

During the first lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Livraria Lello staged liberation through writing with a short-story competition.

This was one of the best participated competitions of its type worldwide: attracting over 5,600 submissions from 39 different countries. A total of six winners were selected that, in addition to their financial prize, saw their works published by Livraria Lello in a multilingual collective edition.

2021

The Portuguese architect Pritzker Prize winner, Álvaro Siza Vieira accepts the commission to design the project for building 148, adjoining Livraria Lello, and that is to serve as another venue for culture.

2021

The Portuguese architect Pritzker Prize winner, Álvaro Siza Vieira accepts the commission to design the project for building 148, adjoining Livraria Lello, and that is to serve as another venue for culture.

2021

Acquisition of the Coimbra Editora legacy.

In defence of book heritage, Livraria Lello acquired the Coimbra Editora and Coimbra Editora printing house collections with the objective of enhancing the value of books and perpetuating the memories of one of the iconic publishers in the country.
2021

Acquisition of the Coimbra Editora legacy.

In defence of book heritage, Livraria Lello acquired the Coimbra Editora and Coimbra Editora printing house collections with the objective of enhancing the value of books and perpetuating the memories of one of the iconic publishers in the country.