RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Visit  >  Museums that cure

Museums that cure

“I’d like some headache elixir, mandrake root extract, heart pills and a bit of morphine, please…” – this is about how patients addressed pharmacists a couple hundred years ago. They, in turn, were preparing various magmas and mixtures in pharmacological laboratories situated as near as in the next room. Sure, nowadays technologies have significantly advanced, “remedy stores” fit in kiosks while drug-containing medicines cannot be bought without prescription…

“Pills houses” scattered across cities of the world preserve history of their regions pharmacy in the shape of renovated premises, archive documents, old books in medicine and ancient appliances for medications creation… Everything once-common that was being stored in closets today is on display as museum specimens. Occasionally visitors in search for historical facts are taken for sick customers because alongside counters with antiques operating ones can often be seen. Finding own specialties in order to stand out among pharmacy-museum “ilk” isn’t the simplest task, therefore supervisors of such establishments are trying to add to their displays something distinctive even if not always connected to pharmaceuticals. We purposely took a deeper look into antique stocks of many pharmacy museums to find for you the most interesting features.Photo historicbethlehem.org

One of the first pharmacies within the territory of Eastern Europe, yet still operating one, is situated in Belorussian the city of Grodno. Mention of it bears a date of 1709, when the building where it was founded had been erected – it pertains to the complex of Grodno Jesuit Monastery. The establishment existed as long as till mid 20th century until it was reformed into a medical storage and later into a furniture salon and further into Pedagogical house… The pharmacy was revived barely in 1996 when pharmaceutical museum and trade complex consisting of three halls was created.

See also: Welcome to… the bananas museum. The most unusual museums in the world and From Runway to Museum

Alongside old gears the complex is famous for bearing memories of the husband of Ethel Voynich who became a prototype of Gadfly in an ilk novel and used to work in the building. Post-mortem tools used to “cut into” Polish king Stephen Bathory, who abruptly passed away in Grodno, occupy their honorary place in the exhibition.

In Belarus’s neighbor, Latvia, a pharmacy museum is situated that claims to be the largest one in the whole Europe. Number of specimens exhibited in Riga overtops 50 thousands therefore there are as many as five displays in the establishment. Every room is filled with interior from 1930s and antique furniture that perfectly reflects atmosphere of the age. The most attractive for tourists is considered to be a display “Pharmacy: laboratory of 18th – 19th century” that carries everyone into a mystic “studio” of an alchemist. It seems like should one stay there for a couple of hours and a recipe of eternal youth elixir or a philosopher's stone will definitely be revealed.Photo pinterest.com

Turning to magic powers as a part of treatment from severe diseases wasn’t disregarded in Switzerland several centuries ago. In one of pharmacy museums, that settled in the city of Basel in the North-West of the country, collection of old amulets, that according to doctors of the time helped getting rid or preventing “demonic diseases”, is presented before visitors’ eyes. Healing using talismans was over only when “pranks of evil” were reclassified as psychotic disorders.

However in Hook's Drug Store Museum situated in American city of Indianapolis no superstitious staff was noticed. They have always been healing here with sweets. More precisely, today widely familiar chocolate and soda water are used while several centuries ago these were stomach ache mixture and healthful vitamins. Thus, today aside from specimens themselves, a cafeteria works on the territory, that still has delights cooked according to old recipes preserved in its menu.Photo visitalexandriava.com

A tour to pharmacy museum in German city of Heidelberg can be combined with a visit to another place of interest – Heidelberg Castle of 13th century. It used to serve as a defense fortress once and in its tower there was a pharmacy and hospital, one of the very first in the world. While reconstructing it already in 1957 and adding elements collected from around the whole city, there was no need to create “quasi-antique” decorations: walls of the castle performed the function.Photo tripadvisor.com

In Ukrainian Lvov among hundreds-years old districts there is a house is hidden with forged sign that depict a symbol of medicine, a snake twined around a chalice, with a date “1735” engraved below and an inscription “Pharmacy Museum”. Its better known name is “Under the Black Eagle”. The most remarkable specimens here are ancient amphorae with all kinds of extracts and gold-plated Latin letters reading “Life Potion” or “Elixir”… This is how “Iron Wine” was once called – an alcohol and curative mixture for immunity enhancement. In reality the mystery liquid constitutes a healthful vitamin produced on pharmaceutical factories but some centuries ago it was perceived as a true potion that was only allowed to be taken under doctor’s careful supervision.Photo richmond.com

Those for whom a mere retrospective journey into the history of domestic pharmacy isn’t enough, a trip to neighboring Poland and Hungary can be suggested. Possibly, when visiting Krakow and Budapest you’ll have déjà-vu: pharmacy museums in these cities bare names of “Pharmacy under the Eagle” and “Golden Eagle”. At the first sight it isn’t clear why unrelated establishments picked such similar names, given that a snake has always been an emblem of health-care institutions. But when having a deeper look into the history of pharmacy, a logical explanation comes up immediately. A joust between an eagle and a dragon or a snake signifies victory of intellect and moral courage over matter. By way of uncomplicated comparison one can make out who symbolizes sickness and who impersonates treatment.

Cover photo hiveminer.com

It will be interesting:
From Dusk till Dawn: TOP-5 Capitals of Europe’s Night Life
Each one has own notion of a perfect rest: some need ocean, beach and an exotic cocktail for a perfect relaxation; others are drawn to conquer new mountain peaks; some people live in anticipation of acquaintance of ancient ruins… But there are people who dream of cutting loose at full throttle, forgetting everything and anything else!
Interesting not only in city centers. Residential districts of the world
There are hardly many travelers who would go somewhere further than city centre where their hotel is situated when on a short-term journey. And if location is a metropolis on top of everything else, such “outside” trips are sure to be put on hold till better occasions.
Ambassador Anka Feldhuizen held Doors Open Day at the German Embassy in Ukraine!
The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany for the sixth time invites everyone to visit the German Garden event every summer - a Doors Open Day when diplomats meet in their office and on the territory of the embassy with the the residents of Kyiv.
Incredible school lessons from around the world
Grinding away at their books to master basics of algebra and geometry, or memorizing years of monarchs’ reign skimming history textbooks is commonplace for schoolchildren all over the world while getting ready for a test in cybersecurity or boasting to have “A”s in beekeeping is strange at the vey least. Hereafter we are going to touch upon these and other unusual classes taught in foreign schools.
OUTLOOK: for the Day of Independence of Ukraine...
Today in honor of Independence Day of Ukraine OUTLOOK prepared interesting stories about sites that are in UNESCO world heritage list ! We want not only to see beauty of foreign cultures and places of interest but also to pay attention on Ukrainian ones!!!
What do they eat: Latvia
It is commonly believed that Latvia is all about Riga’s seashore, ancient cozy cities and perfect climate. All of it is true, but somehow many forget local cuisine. Having visited the country, Outlook cannot but share a story of delicious and sometimes very unusual dishes.
Canyons: Deep and long
What season can be better than warm months to conquer summits, overcome seas and climb on the rocks? People often make great efforts to enjoy the comfort through the whole lifetime. But sometimes our soul needs some romance, so OUTLOOK presents seven unique canyons.
Between Heaven And... Water: World’s 5 smallest inhabited islands
Each of us wants to escape rush of a city from time to time and lie low somewhere far from everything and anything. And it better be a place where one can listen to whisper of waves, feel light breeze and forever make friends with inimitably loud silence that muffles every disturbing thought…
Lombard street: Street swallowed by a Boa constrictor
Remember how the little prince taught to see not a hat, but a boa constrictor digesting an elephant? So, in San Francisco you have the opportunity to see the street part of which is swallowed by a boa. A serpent Lombard Street crawled into almost all the Frisco city guides.
Water gates. Impressive world harbors
Airports, railway and bus stations are almost always erected at a human whim, while ports and harbours are joint creation of homo sapiens and nature. In this article OUTLOOK presents you the most beautiful port destinations with their own unique character worth exploring.
Animals in the city: When people sing in tune with Nature
Many city dwellers are irritated by cats, dogs or even pigeons in the streets. Attempts of zoo-advocates to save them from attacks of people and from starvation are mainly ineffective. But there are wonderful cities in this world where people perfectly coexist with deer, peacocks and cattle…
Summer at a Real Ranch!
Upon watching movies about Wild West in America, more than one generation of children dragged their parents towards horses nearby a circus to try on well-loved characters and feel that very atmosphere for a minute. However that minute has always seemed way to short for me. Therefore, when I grew up, I headed to Colorado State to work on a real-life horse guest ranch called Sundance.
National winged symbols
Each state has its own official symbols: flag, coat of arms and anthem. But in addition to the traditional "identification mark" there are symbols chosen by people, for instance, a favourite bird. It is about them OUTLOOK expands below. To register the people's love by document, in 1960 in Tokyo at the International Conference on the Protection of Birds was created the concept of "national bird".
Alpine village nearby Seattle
There are many things that we can learn from citizens of the United States but what deserves special respect is love to their land. Patriotism of Americans manifests itself in everything, even in internal tourism - without having properly explored own country, an American would hardly travel anywhere outside its territory. Today we tell about one of the most popular internal tourism towns - about Leavenworth.
Foot walk around Aachen
To visit three countries over one day – it is possible if you are in Aachen. Situated amid Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, small student town took in features of medieval culture that reflected in its astonishing architecture. Yelena Buravtsova visited the town for it to win her heart with its off-beat monuments, streets paved with stone blocks, cozy cafés, one of a kind printed spice cake, museums and spectacular races.
From the screen to reality and back: places where famous movies were shot
How many kinds of tourism are there? Gastro, ecotourism, shopping — there are probably as many varieties of them as travelers themselves — everyone choose what they want. Today we talk about people visiting places that have become locations for shoting famous movies.
GDIP celebrates its 27th anniversary and the Diplomats offer congratulations!
On May 16, 2019, Embroidery Day and the 27th anniversary of the founding of the State Enterprise “Directorate-General for Rendering Services to Diplomatic Missions” were celebrated at the Kyiv National Academic Operetta Theatre.
Charitable dance. Foreign diplomats attended the annual ball in the IIR
The Institute of International Relations of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and personally the director Valerii Kopiika invited everyone to support the student initiative of the Charity Ball IIR-2019.
Shy Hannover
What kind of city is the small Hannover, lacking the high profile of its German brothers top-popular among tourists? Hannover has repeatedly changed its outfits and its look, but preserved a piece from each era of its experience, without losing its identity and integrity.
Life on water: 7 little-known Venice competitors
When we hear about "water city", Venice immediately comes to mind, doesn’t it? Tranquil gondolas, narrow waterways, gentle light of the evening sun and ancient architecture create that heady romantic cocktail which attracts tourists from all over the world to the Italian city.
Close
Outlook facebook page