Old Plovdiv entices us with numerous architectural jewels and exciting exhibitions. The popular houses and the Ethnographic Museum are a must-see, but somehow the only museum pharmaceutical exposition in Bulgaria remains a bit off the beaten path. It was opened for visitors in 1981, but it actually housed a pharmacy in the period from 1872 to 1947, which was among the most modernly equipped at the time. The building itself was built in the late 1860s by Dr. Dzhyavalo. Its next owner was Dr. Sotir Antoniadi, who was one of the first medical graduates before the Liberation. A graduate of a prestigious medical school in Vienna, Antoniadi brought to Plovdiv the best European standards in treatment. On the ground floor of his house he opened a small pharmacy and set up an office next to it, where he simultaneously examined the sick and prepared medicines for them, most often from natural ingredients - herbs, minerals and natural fats. Subsequently, he developed the activity, expanded the equipment and entered into a partnership until the moment he left the city under the hills and went to Greece.
Today, the former pharmacy has been transformed into a museum exposition of the Old Pharmacy Hippocrates. It introduces us to the various methods for preparing extracts, tinctures, how laboratory tests were performed, and presents a number of pharmaceutical instruments and equipment manufactured mainly in Vienna and Berlin.
The ordinance is reminiscent of the ancient-romantic style from the times of the Revival Plovdiv. The house is massively built and has an asymmetrical layout. The residential part can be entered from a small neat yard. For the most part it is covered with stone pavement, and in another - set aside as a medicinal garden with herbs, spices and ornamental plants. A narrow corridor and a two-armed staircase lead to the living floor. The ceilings are plastered and richly decorated with rosettes and floral ornaments.
In one of the rooms on the first floor, there is a restoration of the old ahtarnitsas (the place where the herbs were sold and processed). There are exhibits related to the healing process - hand scales, mortars, water distiller, many jars filled with various herbs. In this room are preserved the authentic scales used by the pharmacist MetodiStratiev from Haskovo, an ally of Levski. A real metal cash register, which was manufactured in 1903, but still works today, arouses great curiosity among visitors.
The pharmacy has preserved several original wooden shelves with ornaments and wood carvings. They were delivered from Vienna at the end of the 19th century. On the shelves is arranged the so-called vaseria - vessels made of crystal and porcelain for storage of medicines, ointments and healing essential oils. The crystal vaseria are opal, turquoise, emerald and ruby. In a place of honor, you can see a specially arranged the so-called. "royal vaseria" with gilded ornaments. It was manufactured in Berlin in 1890 and later acquired by an unknown antique pharmacy, which had a license to produce and supply medicines for the royal family. In the past, only one pharmacy in the city had such rights.
To the second floor of the house leads a small wooden staircase with a preserved wooden railing and an internal window. In the small lobby is the waiting room, furnished with an elegant table and authentic carved chairs. Here you can see the book "Pharmacist" by St. Yoan of Rila, published in 1846 in Bucharest. Half of the edition contains prayers, and the other half - recipes that are still used in folk medicine. On the walls hang original diplomas of master pharmacists of that time, who graduated in Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria-Hungary, France.
In another room, various flasks, test tubes, distillers, a microscope, scales with weights were kept, which were of help to the healers of that time.
The overall feeling of visiting is of a mystical place that immerses us right in a bygone era, which today, due to indisputable scientific progress, seems to us extremely distant.
Monday-Friday: 09:00 to 18:00
November - March:
Monday-Friday: 09:00 - 17:30
Day for free visit: every first Thursday of the month - for students and retirees