Interior Design Shop takes you on a tour through the most beautiful libraries in the world. Places full of history that inspire and fill our dreams recalling other lives and times. Let’s go for a tour?
Livraria Lello e Irmao is a dream place located in Porto, considered as one of the most beautiful European cities. Inside, you get to see its beautiful and unique stairs, and the astonishing stained glass rooftop. If you’re a Harry Potter fan you would like to know that its author J.K. Rowling actually lived in Porto and that Lello’s stairs were the inspiration for Hogwarts stairs. You will surely by impressed by the neo-gothic style of the building, decorated walls, and ornamented pillars.
Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, in Buenos Aires, is a spectacular building born in the 1920s, which receives over one million visitors every year, keeping intact the glamour of its first days as a movie theater. This former movie theater is now home to thousands of books. Sit down in one of the theater boxes and discover your favorite books before purchasing them, enjoy a café on the back of the stage, and admire the auditorium lighting, the ornate ceiling, and the many architectural details that remain.
Next, let’s visit Polare, in Maastricht, Holland. Renovated by the Amsterdam based architecture firm Merkx+Girod, this 700 year old Catholic Church was once a warehouse, then an archive, and at one point even served as a bicycle shed. Then, at last, an unexpected combination of influences and moods transformed this bookstore into a unique place. When Napoleon invaded the city of Maastricht, the building was a Dominican Church, but in 1794, the Dominicans were forced to leave the country. Fortunately, since 2007, the building has given a new live as a beautiful bookstore.
Just across the ocean, is Livraria da Vila, in São Paulo, Brazil. We are now living an era, in which books aren´t just for sale. Books are actually part of the space decoration! This unique bookstore was designed by Isay Weinfeld, who made every corner of the place remarkable, including atriums on the ground level, allowing visitors to peek at other floors. Go to Livraria da Villa and let yourself enjoy a nice coffee, play music, watch films, or simply read a book peacefully in the middle of the busy city of São Paulo.
Behind the shadows of Notre Dame, in Paris, you’ll find Shakespeare and Company, an English language literature bookstore opened in 1951 by George Whitman. Named after a bookstore frequented by Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce during the 1920s, it has become equally legendary as a gathering place for writers like Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs.
Corso Como, in Milan, Italy, founded by former editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue Carla Sozzani in 1991, combines books and design with a café, hotel, and roof garden. The outdoor space exposes glamour and romantic decor, being the ideal place to relax at the end of the day, or to simply get inspired. The bookstore combines art, architecture, and fashion titles with designer furniture in the fantastic city of Milan.
Livraria Cultura, in São Paulo, Brazil, is the way Eva Herz expresses her love for books. She left Berlin in 1938 to escape from the Nazis and ten years later, in 1948, she gave life to Livraria Cultura, a place full of fantasy and dreams, where literally dragons happily live. She started with a spare room at her house as a rental library, and nowadays she’s pratically the owner of Brazil’s largest bookstore. Besides the dragon statues to play on, there are areas to lounge, and book-filled aisles to discover and dream.
If you know a bookstore that you believe is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, please let us know. Send us a message!