Town Hall Pharmacy, Tallinn

8 Reviews

  • Town Hall Pharmacy
    by lina112
  • Town Hall Pharmacy
    by lina112
  • Town Hall Pharmacy
    by lina112

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Town Hall Pharmacy

    by toonsarah Updated Aug 2, 2015

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On the opposite side of Raekoja Plats to the Town Hall itself you will find the Town Hall Pharmacy or Raeapteek. This asserts itself to be “the oldest pharmacy in Europe that has continuously been in business in the same building”. The exact date of its first opening here is unknown, but it is evident from council documents that in 1422 it was already under its third owner, so early 15th century seems likely.

    The pharmacy doors (photo three) are outstanding even among the many attractive doors here in Tallinn (see next tip). When opened, they reveal intertwining snakes symbolic of the medical profession. Inside, there is still an operating pharmacy, selling modern goods and also some inspired by the past, such as herbal teas, spices for mulled claret, old-fashioned soaps and more. The website also mentions classes in herbal remedies, marzipan and bread making, but no information is given about times, costs etc.

    I didn’t get a chance to properly look inside on my 2014 trip to Tallinn, although on one morning I was here when they were getting ready to open and the great wooden doors stood open, so I was able to take a few steps inside and see the old pharmacy itself, which has been fitted out not as a replica of the past, as the original appearance is unknown, but in the style that it would most likely have had, based on documented evidence of European pharmacies in general.

    UPDATE
    Returning in 2015 I was pleased to find the pharmacy open and to be able to take a proper look inside. There are two rooms. The first combines history with practicality, as from the counter here you can purchase modern-day treatments and beauty products. They also sell items linked to the past, including some that would have been sold throughout the centuries such as herbal tea, ingredients for mulled claret, and tinctures – according to the website the Invigorating tincture “is since the old days used to invigorate, excite and raise lust and ability to work.” And no, I didn’t buy any!

    In the room beyond my eyes were drawn to the bottles of coloured liquids on the windowsill, their contents producing a perfect but upside-down reflection of the town hall and square outside. This room has a beautiful painted ceiling (dating from the Middle Ages) from which various objects hang, including a small crocodile. Apparently pharmacies often had these (or maybe a lizard or strange fish) to emphasise the mystery of their work.

    The sides of the windows in this second room are decorated with 18th century paintings of the Muses. On the left is Calliope holding writing instruments and on the right Thalia with a herder. It is assumed that the other seven muses were besides the other windows of the pharmacy, but these are long lost.

    Inside the pharmacy Entrance
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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  • lina112's Profile Photo

    The oldest pharmacy

    by lina112 Written Sep 3, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Town Hall Pharmacy is the oldest in Europe that has continually operated from the same premises. It was first mentioned in town records in 1422, when an apothecary by the name of Nyclawes was summoned to a session of the town's rulers. In addition to selling modern medicines, the pharmacy today also sells mementos of times past.

    La farmacia de la plaza del ayto es la más antigua de Europa que ha funcionado continuamente desde las mismas instalaciones. Se mencionó por primera vez en los registros de la ciudad en 1422, cuando un boticario con el nombre de Nyclawes fue convocado a una reunión de los gobernantes de la ciudad. Además de la venta de las medicinas modernas, hoy la farmacia también vende recuerdos de tiempos pasados.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Architecture

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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    Raeapteek (old town hall pharmacy)

    by call_me_rhia Updated Oct 21, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Raeapteek is Talinn’s old Town Hall Pharmacy and it’s located in the centre of town, on town hall square. As you can see from a sign, it was already established in 1422 – therefore making it one of the oldest continuously running pharmacies in Europe and the medical establishment in the city.

    The pharmacy is now a modern one, selling modern medicines, but attached to it you can visit the museum of the old pharmacy and see old chemist tools and jars of medical herbs and more 8read: bat powder, snake skin and so on).

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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Town hall pharmacy

    by Raimix Updated Aug 21, 2007

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    It is said, that this pharmacy is one of the oldest still working pharmacies in Europe. The work of old pharmacy was firstly mentioned even in the year of 1422. Nowadays pharmacy sells modern medicine.

    The building itself for me doesn't look so impressive and in some ways it looks like built not long ago, it differs from other town hall square buildings.

    Open Mon-Fri 9am - 7pm, Sat 9am - 5pm.

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  • Fen's Profile Photo

    Town hall Pharmacy

    by Fen Updated Nov 22, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one of the oldest running pharmacies in Europe dating back from 1422. There is even a small exhibition room displaying antique pharmacy equipment, archiac medicines and similar artefacts. Open Mon-Fri 9am-7pm and Sat 9am-5pm

    Town hall pharmacy

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  • fabikt's Profile Photo

    Town Hall Pharmacy

    by fabikt Written Aug 21, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Town Hall Pharmacy is one of the oldest pharmacies still functioning in its original spot in all of Europe.
    The pharmacy was first mentioned in historical documents in 1422, but by some accounts, it may be older still. The town council-governed pharmacy sold many other goods besides medicine.
    Over the centuries, it has changed slightly, but it still retains the flavour of bygone days, while it sells modern medicines. Medieval medicinal ingredients like bat powder and snakeskin are no longer available, but you can still try the fine spiced claret, renowned already in the Middle Ages.

    Open:
    Mon-Fri 9.00-19.00, Sat 9.00-17.00

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  • Avieira67's Profile Photo

    Town Hall Pharmacy

    by Avieira67 Updated Aug 16, 2005

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    Here on Town Hall Square, we find one of the oldest continuously running pharmacies in Europe.
    In Medieval times patients could buy mummy juice and burnt bees for treatment, and healthy folks could even drop in for a glass of spiced wine. Keeping up with the times, the pharmacy sells the usual aspirin and condoms, but part of the shop is also a museum, displaying old medical instruments and other curiosities.

    Open daily :09:00-19:00
    Saturday: 09:00-17:00
    Sunday: Closed

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    The Old Pharmacy

    by Leipzig Written Sep 11, 2003

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    The Old Pharmacy is located on the corner of the Town Hall Square. It was first mentioned in 1422, but it was approximately erected in 13th century. Although it has been remodeled several times over the centuries it preserved its flair of the mediaeval times.

    Picture comes as soon as my films are developed

    Related to:
    • Architecture

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