MUSEUM of PHARMACY - RED CRAYFISH PHARMACY
Open: daily except for Monday
Tuesday - Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p. m.
- full entrance fee: 4,50 €
- reduced entrance fee (children, students, pensioners): 2,50 €
- family ticket (two adults and children under 14 years): 9 €
- 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.