Pharmacy Museum

Pritissko-Nikolskaya St. 7

The narrow streets of the ancient Podol shelter one of the most unusual and interesting museums of the Ukraine's capital, the Pharmacy Museum, whose unique exposition is devoted to the history of the pharmacy. It is located in the building where the German pharmacist Johann Heiter opened Kyiv's first private drugstore in 1728.

After Heiter's death his son-in-law Georg Bunge inherited the pharmacy business and made the drugstore very popular among Kyiv's residents. It could brag about one of the largest assortments of drugs in the city - about a thousand names. All drugs that were sold here (ointments, pills, mixtures) were made in the pharmacy's laboratory only from natural components: healing herbs, minerals, shells, animal blood and poison of insects and reptiles. In addition, the Bunge's drugstore, as it was nicknamed by the Kyiv locals, was intended for the very broad sections of the public: it had two sections and respectively to separate drug registries, for poor and wealthy townspeople. Of course, the structure and quality of the drugs were different.

In 1839, the drugstore was closed. Its building changed hands until in the late 20th century enthusiasts opened the unique Pharmacy museum here. Its interior fully recreates the drugstores' setting typical for the 18th-19th centuries, and its collection numbers over 3000 exhibits. They are placed in 12 exhibition halls, each of which has its own theme and sense load.

Museum's showcases keep heaps of pharmaceutical utensils: dishes (cones, tubes), tools for preparation of medicines (in particular, mills that grinded raw materials and special nutcrackers), as well as antique furniture, medical formulas of the past centuries and ancient medicines. It is possible to see and even leaf through the thick pharmaceutical book, dated to the 1834, which keeps drug names, their formula and price. In addition, there is an ancient tablet machine, which was used to manufacture pills. In those days it was a very difficult and responsible task.

Few centuries ago pharmacies sold not only drugs, but also creams, powder, perfumes, tooth powder, and even ink, cans and tubes, which are now the unique exhibits of the Kyiv Pharmacy Museum.

There are three most popular museum halls here. The first one is the so called Alchemist's Chamber, where the corresponding mystical atmosphere is recreated. The wizard leaning over the bulb with potion sits in the hall's center and the pile of coins lies on the table in front of him. Museum's visitors believe that, if one makes a wish and throws a coin to the alchemist, it'll inevitably come true. Another interesting hall is the Healer's Hut, devoted to the folk medicine. Various healing utensils are kept here, and different herbs, used by folk healers to treat their patients, hang on the ceiling. The third hall is called the Monk's Cell: monastic cell of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is recreated here. In such cells the monks used to heal their patients with herbs and prayers in the 10th century.

The herbal tea room was recently opened in the museum. Here it is possible to drink a cup of tea made after Georg Bunge's recipe. Soap, ointments and balsams, made from the natural components after 19th century's technology, are also sold here.

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