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Traces of Livraria Lello's history


Throughout the building, there are traces of the stories that make up the history of Livraria Lello, which we preserve and do not want to go left unnoticed:

On the ground floor of the bookshop, a trackway and its respective transport trolley attract the curiosity of visitors. They bear witness to Livraria Lello's history as a publisher. From 1906 until the early 1990s, this was the method that served to transport books from the basement, where there was a warehouse, to the ground floor and onwards to the front door. The trolley that is now part of the current decoration is a replica of the original.

Inside the showcases, also on the ground floor, there are very special books. They are part of our collection and preserve the memory of the historic publishers and bookshops to which they belonged and whose publishing collections were acquired by Livraria Lello over time, such as the International Bookstore of Ernesto Chardron and Livraria Lemos & Cª.

During the last major conservation and restoration works, between 2017 and 2018, more historical traces were found: lottery tickets behind the counters and shelves of Livraria Lello. The tickets had been stuck there by several booksellers over the years hoping to repeat the lucky story of Ernesto Chardron who used his lottery prize winnings to open a bookshop in 1869. This was the beginning of the history of Livraria Lello which, years later, would open its doors after acquiring all the important assets of the International Bookstore of Ernesto Chardron, including the publishing rights to some of the great names in Portuguese literature, such as Eça de Queirós and Camilo Castelo Branco. 

To continue this chain of good luck, since 2018 a special edition of the Classic Lottery has been drawn to commemorate the anniversary of Livraria Lello in January before a new ticket goes on display on our counter.