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Museum of Pharmacy Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum

Museum of Pharmacy Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum

25 Floriańska St.

Opening hours
Tuesday: 12.00 a.m.–6.30 p.m.
Wednesday – Sunday: 10.00 a.m.–2.30 p.m.
Monday: closed
The Museum of Pharmacy of the Jagiellonian University is one of the few museums of this type in the world. Founded in 1946 it is a scientific/didactic unit of the Jagiellonian University Pharmaceutical Faculty. Since 1991 it has been located in the historic bourgeoisie tenement by the Royal Route, at 25 Florianska St.

The permanent exhibition occupies five levels of the building – from the 15th century cellars to the attic. The exhibits gathered here illustrate the history of pharmaceuticals from the Middle Ages to modern times. Among them, there are pharmaceutical utensils, including a collection of majolica from many European manufacturers, mortars of various shapes and sizes, laboratory equipment, medicinal ingredients, memorabilia of distinguished pharmacists, a philatelic collection related to pharmacy, and curios connected with the health care of yore. What is more, the interior of an 18th century chemist’s shop was recreated in the museum, as well as other premises such as the old pharmaceutical laboratory, a cellar with barrels and bottles for curative wines and an attic for drying and storing healing herbs. The museum has its own library, where among others, the old herbariums, pharmacopoeia, antidotaria, and other printed works connected with the history of pharmacy, as well as the memorabilia of pharmacists and chemists, are stored.

On display in the museum there are old instruments used for conducting those chemical processes that were required for manufacturing medicines. One such process was percolation, the preparation of liquid extracts from plant raw materials with the use of a percolator – a conically shaped instrument made of glass, ceramics, copper sheet, or acid proof steel. Inside the percolator, the medicinal raw materials were subjected to the effects of the solvent (alcohol), and the liquid gained as a result of the process was gathered in a utensil by means of a tap. The museum exhibition includes copper and ceramic percolators.

In one of the cellars on display are numerous alembics and retorts used in chemist shops for distillation of medicines such as aromatic and medicinal vodkas and spirits. In the process of distillation liquids are turned into vapour, which is next liquefied through cooling. The medicines produced through distillation (with water or spirit) are characterised by the presence of volatile substances. The distillation apparatus in the museum comprises a copper alembic, a tin helm and a cooler. Valuable exhibits are the 17th century graphite retorts used for dry distillation (i.e. without the use of a liquid).
  • Program regionalny
  • województwo maloposkie
  • Unia Europejska
The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013