Sibiu, Romania

Pharmacy Museum of Sibiu

A stunning 18th century pharmacy and medieval chemist's collection. 

The Sibiu Pharmacy Museum is housed in a 1569 Gothic townhouse where the oldest pharmacy in Romania operated for over 150 years. The pharmacy was known as La Ursul Negru (The Black Bear), and likely looked nothing like the beautiful reconstructed pharmacy on display today. The wooden counters and shelves are not from Romania, but an 18th century Viennese Apoteka (Pharmacy).

Still, the museum provides an intricate example of what an 18th century Eastern European pharmacy would have looked like.

The rows of ceramic and wooden jars, and walls of carefully labeled drawers for herbs may not be entirely Romanian, but a back room dedicated to Homeopathy is. The room is in honor of Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy. Hahnemann is believed to have come up with many of the early ideas that lead to homeopathy in Sibiu, Romania, and some of his original plans and instruments are on display.

A middle room displays a gorgeous chemist’s laboratory, with brass scales, glass retorts and jars, and iron presses ranging from the 15-19th century. The museum’s collection comes from old chemist shops, medical institutions, and individuals. They had a lot to choose from, as Sibiu once had more chemists than any other town in Transylvania. The result is this fantastically wide-ranging museum, with more than 6,000 pieces.

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