It’s easy to walk through the streets of Lisbon and pay more attention to not tripping on an errant stone on the narrow sidewalk than to any given shop. In this way, Lisbon keeps its secrets safe. One of the hidden gems it holds is a candle shop that has been open since 1789.
Given its age, it’s no wonder Caza das Vellas Loreto is among the oldest operating candle shops in the world. The store’s been selling its waxy goods since July 14, 1789—coincidentally, the same day the French Revolution ignited.
Caza das Vellas Loreto has remained in the same family for seven generations. You can feel the history in the quiet simplicity of the old wood-paneled display cases and the clock above the door that leads back into the storerooms.
Visiting the store makes you wonder what life looked like in Lisbon not long after the devastating earthquake of 1755 destroyed most of the city. It’s easy to imagine this little shop helped light the way forward.
Know Before You Go
If you go, don't be surprised if you have to wait in line for a bit. They are popular with locals picking up candles for baptism or birthdays or religious celebrations.
They also only accept cash. There is a cash machine a few steps away.