Should anyone doubt mass tourism’s destruction of the very beauties that the tourists, braving inconveniences such as airports, supposedly travel to see, he could do worse than pay a visit to the Lello bookshop in Porto, Portugal.

It boasts of being the world’s most beautiful, and it is indeed very beautiful. Opened in 1906, it was the city’s first major construction in reinforced concrete, one whose exterior, however, was given a splendid neo-Gothic style. No doubt modern architects would consider this dishonest, preferring their concrete to be exposed to the elements, thereby staining horribly, all in the name of authenticity. They are like someone who would count no woman beautiful whose entrails he had not seen.

But the glory of the Lello bookshop is its interior, with its elegantly sweeping staircase,...


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