They say the more seasoned the wine is the better the taste is. That is precisely how we feel about old books, libraries, and book shops. There is something about old books that is fascinating, the crumbled pages, “the old book smell,” the possibility that it has been around for quite a long time, is simply spectacular. (alright, you get it, we love old books).
We don’t know why we expected that the most established book shop would be some place in Britain, we guess because of Shakespeare or something like that, but we couldn’t be all more wrong. The oldest bookstore, dating to 1732 is situated at the run of the mill Portugal-road Rua Garrett in Chiado, Lisbon. Bertrand Chiado is officially the oldest bookshop on the planet that is still working, and this title was officialized by Guinness Book of Records in 2011. In any case, according to Wikipedia, the oldest bookshop is the Moravian Book Store in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, established in 1745. However, we chose to stay with Bertrand Chiado.
At the point when Pedro Faure had opened the doors of his little book shop at Rua Diereito do Loreto, he was trusting that it will end up being the center of intellectual and artistic events, but we bet he would have never imagined that it would last over two centuries. The business was going great and Faure was accomplishing his goal to make a spot where learned people will assemble since eminent Portuguese authors were frequent visitors at his store.
Unfortunately, in 1775 the earth shook strongly in Portugal as The Great Lisbon Earthquake happened, and had almost crushed the city. Faure sold his book shop to the Bertrand Brothers and they moved the shop close to the Nossa Senhora das Necessidades Chapel, coming back to the “Baixa de Lisboa” after 18 years when it was revamped. Throughout the years, The Bertrand has been expanding and is now the biggest book shop chain in Portugal with more than 50 shops. The Bertrand Bookstore is not only the oldest bookshop on the planet but in 2013 was chosen as the most loved bookshop according to an online survey directed by the Associação de Editores e Livreiros (APEL).
The Bertrand bookstore has several rooms and a few spots so the visitors can sit and read. If you are a bookworm and on your way to Portugal, you have to add this place to your visit guide.