10 Best Pharmacy Museums around the World

apoteka dubrovni 2
World Pharmacy and Health
The theme of Pharmacy and Health are covered with pieces of extreme quality entries from civilizations and cultures so distant in time and space, like Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Incas, the Aztecs, Islam, Tibet, China, Japan and finally the European Pharmacy since the Middle Ages until 1929, with the isolation of penicillin by British scientist Fleming. The exhibition ends with the display of the portable pharmacies used on the Space Shuttle “Endeavour” on the last trip of the millennium (December 2000) in addition to drugs of Space Station Mir and the Russian astronauts’ food.

1.The Pharmacy Museum „Pid Chornym Orlom“ (Lviv, Ukraine)
Ukraininians love pharmaceuticals. Ther’s a drug store on practical every corner of every city. The Pharmacy Museum is located in a drugstore established in 1735 by a military pharmacist. The drugstore remains in operation and continues to mix its signature „Iron wine“ used to treat anaemia. This distinctive angular house on the corner of Drukars’ka and Stavropihiyska hosts an expositon of more than 3,000 articles. The most curios of which are the pharmaceutical scales located in the opening hall. The second hall was originally used as a stockroom and currently displays pharmaceutical instruments from a variety of epochs. Within the third hall you’ll discover an ancient laboratory that was reproduced on the basis of pictures and engravings. An apartment house belonging to one of Lviv’s 16th century petty bourgeois has been reconstructed in the internal court yard. Address: Drukars’ka 2, Tel. (+380) 322 72 00 41. Open 10:00-17:00. Admission 5 Hr, students and senior citizen 3 Hr. http://www.lviv.info http://www.inyourpocket.com
2.Pharmaceutical Museum Lisbon, Portugal

The Pharmacy Museum is a project that over the years has been a reference on national and international level, as witnessed by thousands of visitors and received several awards that the Museum was awarded. Opened in June 1996 in Lisbon, the Pharmacy Museum is the result of a clear will of the Portuguese pharmacies in preserving the history of their profession. In 2010, the Pharmacy Museum opened in Oporto a new wing by the inauguration of an exhibition space.
Portuguese Pharmacy
In Lisbon, were recreated spaces and environments that allow the visitor to realize, in a more immediate way, the development of the Portuguese pharmaceutical history and technology, from the late fifteenth century to the present day. From old apothecary of the eighteenth, to the Liberal Pharmacy in early twentieth century were made as reconstructions of authentic Portuguese pharmacies. It should be also noted the authentic recreation of a traditional Chinese pharmacy, originating from Macao of the late nineteenth century and an area dedicated to the Military Pharmacy. In Oporto, you can visit the excellent reconstitution of Pharmacy Estácio, inaugurated in 1924, on the street Sá da Bandeira. This pharmacy was famous in the late forties by its speaker balance becoming an ex-libris of downtown Oporto of that time.
Opening Hours
10.00 h to 18.00 h. Weekdays
14.00 to 18.00 h. Saturdays; Closed at Sundays
Group visits: Public Schools and Visitants by appointment
Reservations and information
PH Museum Lisbon: (+351) 21 34 00 680/88
PH Museum Oporto: (+351) 226 167 995
E-mail: museudafarmacia@anf.pt
Ticket prices
5,00 € – Adult ticket (+18 years old)
3,50 € – Student ticket
3,50 € – Senior ticket (+65 years old)
3,50 € – Family ticket (2 adults + 2 children)
Free – Children 0 – 2 years

Guided Tours Prices
3,00 € – Student Groups (+15 participants)
4,00 € *- Adult Groups (+15 participants)
3,00 € *- Senior Groups (+15 participants)
* plus 55,00 €/Group 150,00 € Guided Tour with the director
Museum shop
Sara`s Club (7 to 12 years)
Health Care Program with our mascots Kápsula, Ampola, Sara and Cãoprimido
– Guided Tours
– Educational workshops
– Birthday Parties
See programs
apoteka naslov

3.Old Pharmacy at Franciscan Monastery Dubrovnik, Croatia
Museum of the Franciscan Monastery

Open: 9-14

Admission fee: adults 40 HKN (5,40 €)
grups adults 35 HKN (4,70 €)

children, students 20 HKN (2,70 €)
groups children, students 17,50 HKN (2,35 €).

Email: mala.braca@du.t-com.hr
Samostan Male braće – Pharmacy

The Old Pharmacy Dubrovnik

Is one of the oldest in this part of the world ( according to some it is the third oldest surpassed in age only by the ones in Bagdad and Padova). It is the oldest when continuity is taken into account because it has been working from the time of its foundation to this day. The historical facts about the pharmacy from its establishment to the earthquake in 1667 have mainly been burnt along with the archive and the library. The chronicler friar Vital Andrijašević wrote that the ground floor of the monastery was a pharmacy and aromatory up to 1681. In the beggining it was just a monastery pharmacy to help the sick friars. Franciscan law and rules let brothers take care of sick bretheren (VI Chapter). The pharmacy became a public one mainly for humanitarian and charitive reasons.
At first the pharmacy was situated on the ground floor of the monastery between the sacristy and the hall of the Captol so that it would be accessable to the citizens.In 1681 the pharmacy was moved to the upper cloister near the monastery’s hospital. The pharmacy was moved within close proximity to the monastery hospital which was situated in upper cloister in 1618. It remained there until the fall of the Republic of Dubrovnik. Pope Benedict XIV. banned the public character of the pharmacy in 1714. The tradition and the years the Friars Minor spent in pharmaceutical work was so great that pope Pious VI. allowed them to go on with their work in 1794.
With the beggining of the twentieth century the pharmacy was again returned to the ground floor, but this time it was situated at the entrance of the monastery where is still situated and active today.The premises where decorated and furnished by a benefactor of the monastery Ignacius, a knight of Amerling. There is a memorial slab bears wittness to this fact. A lot of the original furniture and equipment which was used in the old pharmacy for centuries unfortunately found no place in the new pharmacy because new techniques of modern pharmacy where already being applied. Hence the friars established a museum in 1938 which depicts the old pharmacy and its former spirit. This was situated right by the new pharmacy on the premises of the upper cloister. The pharmacy was taken away from the friars and nationalized in 1947.Luckily the process of nationalization didn’t beset the old pharmacy museum or the name which it bore:”The Pharmacy of the Friars Minor”. The pharmacy has a collection of very valuable books on medicine ,pharmacology and thousands of recipies of which only a few have been exhibited as part of the pharmacy’s inventory which dates back to the 15th century .It is important to explain the difference between old and new pharmacies . Old pharmacies were like small factories which made medicines from natural ingredients while new pharmacies mainly just sell manufactured medicines .In this one may see the historical significance of the museum and that which is exhibited in it. In 1955 the interest of visitors to see the pharmacy was so great that the friars returned it to its original premises in the lower parts of the cloister where it was situated in 1317.
Web: malabraca.wixsite.com/pharmacy-museum
Photos: http://www.pinterest.com

4.New Orleans Pharmacy Museum (Louisiana, United States of America)
ADMISSION. $5.00/adults. $4.00/students & seniors. Free/children under six. The 1 pm guided tour is included with admission.
Address: 514 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130-2110
Louis J. Dufilho, Jr. was America’s First Licensed Pharmacist. Dufilho’s most significant contribution to the history and integrity of the field of pharmacy took place in New Orleans in 1816. In 1804, the State of Louisiana, led by Governor Claiborne, passed a law that required a licensing examination for pharmacists wishing to practice their profession.

To further interest in the history of pharmacology and promote its further development for the benefit of the general public.
The museum is housed in the site of the apothecary of America’s first licensed pharmacist.
Address: 514 Chartres Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504) 565-8027
email: nopharmsm@att.net
The 1 pm guided tour is included with admission. Reservations cannot be made in advance.
Tuesday to Saturday 10 am-4 pm
Guided tours at 1 pm Tuesday to Friday
There is not a guided tour on Saturday.Closed on Sunday and Monday.

Occasionally, we must close early or open late due to private tours and/or special events:
We will be closed all day on 11/28 and 11/29-Happy Thanksgiving!
The museum will close at 2pm on 12/6
The museum will close at 3pm on 12/7
The museum will be closed all day on 12/14, 12/24, 12/25, 12/31 and 1/1/20.
Please check back for special hours of operation or call (504) 565-8027.

5.Pharmacy Museum The Eagle Krakow, Poland

Muzeum farmacji

It’s easy to walk past this museum and not realise it’s there but it’s definitely worth looking for. It’s spread over 4 floors with the ground floor and basement set out as old style pharmacies and the upper floors giving more info about treatments. The information cards are really informative and while not all the staff have fluent English they were still able to point out things they thought we would find particularly interesting including one of the first female pharmacists and the connection to the Harry Potter books.
This is quite a small museum beautifully laid out over several floors. At the entrance to each room, it was very helpful to have available concise information describing the contents.
Showing the pharmacy history. Presents the crafts, materials, animals and plants of which medications were made (and some made of till today).
Tadeusz Pankiewicz, the founder and owner, which the Museum is dedicated for him, saved many Jews, providing them free medications under the radar in the Warsawe Ghetto during Nazzi’s occumation, later he was recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem on February 10, 1983.
Great experience for children too.
Guides are available at every hall/room.
Do not miss the basement floor.

6.Pharmacy Museum London, England or London Museums of Health & Medicine


Visit one of London’s museums of health and medicine to discover extraordinary stories.
From herbs, heart surgery and helicopter emergency services, to pharmacies, false teeth and forensic pathology, our museums provide remarkable insights into humanity’s age-long campaign for good health.
Please contact enquiries@medicalmuseums.org
Exhibits from British pharmacy history. Quite a small museum as part of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. More interesting obviously if interested in medicines, etc. Free admission and guided tours can be arranged. Sheets next to display cases describe exhibits.
Address: 66-68 E Smithfield, Whitechapel, London E1W 1AW, England

7.Golden Eagle Pharmacy Museum Budapest, Hungary

Address: Tarnok utca 18., Budapest 1014, Hungary
Small and nice museum near the Matthias church. Very friendly staff. May be it will be more interesting if you are interested in pharmacology and medicine history.
Quaint and quirky museum with some really interesting exhibits.
A wonderful opportunity to see the depth and diversity of this fascinating area of medicinal history when the apothecary covered diagnosis and potions for those who could afford it.

8.The German Pharmacy Museum Heidelberg, Germany

The German Pharmacy Museum (or Deutsches Apotheken Museum) is a small, intriguing museum but one in which you can spend hours as there are over 20 000 objects on display! This museum was the highlight of my recent trip to Heidelberg, Germany and I highly recommend visiting it as it’s a great experience for the whole family and you will definitely learn something you didn’t know before.

10 Attractions to Visit in Heidelberg, Germany

Situated at the Heidelberg Castle, the museum is accessible by funicular or by a ten to fifteen minute hike up hill. I recommend the audio guide available for €3.50 to give you the history of the museum – a must as it is rather difficult to place the displays in context without being able to read German. And the actual ticket to the museum is available as a combination ticket to the castle grounds as well. This ticket costs €6.
From the onset and from the building’s outer appearance one can only imagine the hidden treasures that lay within.
When inside, you are transported into another world. Here you’ll learn about the history of pharmacy and medicine as we have come to know it today. Ours is indeed a tumultuous time when it comes to medicine since large, profit-driven pharmaceutical companies dominate the industry. The rapid innovations of the last hundred years have helped in many ways but have also hindered in others. The once colourful apothecaries have been replaced by the white, staleness of hospitals, doctors’ offices and pharmacies. And no where is this more evident than at the Germany Pharmacy Museum in Heidelberg. Here you see a true apothecary, or pharmacy if you will, and very unlike our sterile, modern day counterparts.
The old apothecary at the museum is in its fully preserved state. Hundreds of bottles, beautifully labelled in a calligraphy script each have their place within a very large, ornate shelving system.
And there is a definite focus on herbal and natural remedies which has been somewhat lost in today’s world. There is a also an artisan feel to the place; each little bottle or container seems to have something really precious and magical within it.
After observing the hundreds of little bottles on shelves from afar you get to see some of these up-close in another room. This is where the fun starts – you get to try and decipher what the heck some of these rather odd looking ingredients were used for and where they come from…in some instances, you’d prefer not to know (trust me).
For instance, axungia hominis (human fat) and the fat from animals were used since the 16th century as an important component of ointments. Kind of gross but true! In Europe, human fat was actually believed to have magical properties and fat would be obtained from the bodies of those who were executed as a result of crimes they conducted.
And yes, that is some sort of weird fish with ‘legs’ called the stincus marinus as seen below…Apparently a powder was made from this animal and it was given as a remedy to children who had worms…
And these little glass viles together with the book below (Journal der Pharmacie) date from 1794! The book was written by Johann Bartholomaus Trommsdorf. This is demonstrative of the art form of remedies in those days – there was something very special about the appearance of each bottle. And this is particularly profound since today many of the plastic medicine containers we come across are mass produced and are not particularly attractive.
We all know the modern-day version of Aspirin, but how exactly was it packaged years ago when it first came onto the market? Take a look at these retro Aspirin labels below from the 19th century and compare this to what Aspirin now looks like in your own medicine cabinet…Pretty different huh?
In fact, the actual interior decor of apothecaries in those times were really meant to attract people and lure them in. Take for instance the stuffed aligator hanging from the roof, demonstrative of the natural cures once available but also quite a talking point for customers!
In the basement of the German Pharmacy Museum you also get to see the laboratory where the remedies were produced and some of the containers used in the creation thereof.
Temperatures were cooler down below so it was ideal to use that space as the production room in order to preserve the ingredients and store the final remedies.
There are also some interactive exhibits for children so while parents are observing the hundreds glass bottles and strange objects, children can play and learn at the same time.
In closing, there is a certain nostalgia and magic present here and I left thinking whether our current day medicine practices and the marketing thereof effectively serve today’s society. So if you are interested in the progression of remedies and medicine as a craft to its modern-day academic positioning and mass production methods then I highly recommend visiting the German Pharmacy Museum in Heidelberg.

9.Museum of Pharmacy Bratislava Slovakia

Red Crayfish Pharmacy
Michalská street 26
tel: +421-2- 541 31 214
Open: daily except for Monday
Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p. m.
 full entrance fee: 5,00 €
 reduced entrance fee (children, students, pensioners): 3,00 €
 family ticket (two adults and children under 14 years): 9,50 €
 school groups: 1,50 € per person, at least ten children
 Bratislava Card: 0 €
Ticket is Valid for Museum of Arms

Museum of Pharmacy – Red Crayfish Pharmacy
The Museum of Pharmacy is housed in a part of a former pharmacy called the Red Crayfish on the ground-floor of a Baroque burgher’s house built within the barbican of St. Michael’s Gate adjacent to the moat. In the mid-18th century the front façade of the house was re-constructed in the Classicist style and extended with a stone entrance in the Rococo style. The front façade is adorned with an original cast-iron pharmacy sign with forged canthus ornamentation and crayfish from the end of the 19th century, manufactured in the Bratislava smithy named Márton.
The original pharmacy “Red Crayfish” appears in records as early as the mid-16th century and it occupied five rooms from the 18th century up to its closure and its transformation into a pharmacy museum in 1953. The current exhibition displays the history of pharmacy in Bratislava in the first of three rooms. The entrance room is furnished with the original “Red Crayfish” pharmacy fittings. The furniture set constructed from stained beech in the Empire style standing along three walls of the room is supplemented with a tare balance and a stand for a hand-balance. This equipment is supplemented with faience, stoneware, wooden, china and glass containers for storing medicines dating from a period extending from the end of the 18th century up to the mid-20th century. The atmosphere of the room is enhanced by paintings in the Baroque – Classicist style from the end of the 18th century with a theme of healing, with a balustrade and three figurative compositions on the vaulted ceiling.
The pharmaceutical collection containing 8,500 items and 2,880 volumes of ancient pharmaceutical literature is one of the largest of its kind and is unique in Slovakia. It contains original items of pharmaceutical equipment, the oldest originating from the 16th century. The Baroque and Classicist furniture and most of the faience, stoneware, glass, wooden and tin vessels for preserving medicines were made in Slovakia. The oldest dispensing containers, simple tools for the preparation of medicines, laboratory ware and metallic sign-boards were also manufactured within the territory of Slovakia. Up to the time of the unification of pharmacies in the second half of the 19th century, these manufacturers contributed to the special and unique character of each individual pharmacy.
The surviving literature documents the expertise of pharmacists who strove to acquire the latest knowledge and achievements in pharmacy. The literature from the 16th century includes an original edition of works by Paracelsus from 1574. The first quadri-lingual tariff of medicines entitled “Taxa pharmaceutica posoniensis”, published in 1745 in Bratislava, which was valid throughout the Hungarian Kingdom, is prized as an example of the earliest Slovak pharmaceutical terminology.

10.Pharmacy Museum Basel Switzerland (Pharmaziemuseum Universitat Basel)
Address: Totengaesslein 3, Basel 4051, Switzerland
It is in a historic building with thousands of interesting artifacts and room displays. Get the free audio guide to help you understand what you are looking at. You can pick and choose which items to listen to versus having to listen to a long chronology. Very well done and good value for the money.
A lovely small museum and well displayed. You will love the old pharmacopoeia that was beautifully illustrated. Very interesting for everyone even if you don’t have a medical or pharmacy background.

apoteka dubrovnik

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s