Pharmacy Museum in Baranovichi
"Valetudo bonum optimum", what means "Health – is the highest good"
From the title of this amazing place, it becomes clear that we have before us a truly interesting tourist site unlike any other. Pharmacy Museum is the only kind of such building on the territory of Brest region. The premise for this unusual Museum was not chosen by chance either: it was here, in this building a century ago that housed a pharmacy, the history of which will be discussed.
The Brest region is famous for its pharmaceutical tradition. It was here, in the city of Pinsk in distant 1561 where the first in Belarus pharmacy had been opened. And only five years later, it appeared in the capital region – Brest.
The building, which now houses the pharmacy Museum, was built in the early XX century. It was initiated by Stanislav Laevsky, a local pharmacist, who graduated from the University of Warsaw. And 20 years later there was opened a pharmacy here operating today. Then it had the name "Regina Apotheke", and its main advantage was that it worked at any time of the day or night – 24 hours. The owner of the pharmacy and his family occupied the second floor, while at the ground there was located a pharmaceutical shop, where pan Laevsky had sold a variety of potions, powders and even perfumes. The first floor was the basement, which had a "cool niche", which in those days served as refrigerators: there here were kept perishable medicines.
The procedure of buying drugs was as follows: a pharmacist received a token indicating the required drug form, and in exchange for it the patient was given his desired drug. Each sold bottle had a paper back with the instructions attached to it. If medication didn’t not bring relief, the patient was administered a traditional hirudotherapy – treatment with leeches.
Pan Laevsky made all medications with his own equipment and provided the necessary drugs not only to the local population and pharmacies. Then these services were in extraordinary demand.
The pharmacy building was able to avoid any serious damage during times when there was lost a lot of historical and cultural heritage of Belarus. Pharmacy acted even during the great Patriotic war. Among the locals there is a legend that Pan Laevsky provided the necessary medications to guerrilla movement. However, as it turned out, the time of peace was no less dangerous than the military. The pharmacy was taken away from Laevsky, and they left the country and went to Poland in 1946.
The building is a two-storey building in modern style reflecting the influence of the Polish-Polesye architectural direction. During the time of its existence the facade of the pharmacy has not undergone great changes. It’s amazing that the building’s number of 15 has not changed for a hundred of years, while the street in which it is located, initially was called Zwirki, and now bears the name of Telman.
The Pharmacy Museum now
In 2007, the pharmacy received the status of the monument of architecture, and its reconstruction began in 2010. There are exhibits relating to the pharmaceutical business, the crumbs gathered from all corners of the Republic. In 2011 there was opened the first floor, where there is the current pharmacy, and in 2012 the second floor, which recreates the interior living room of the pharmacy’s Creator. A special highlight, which was taken into account during reconstruction, was a small herb garden, located at the entrance to the Museum. Here there are herbs which are a hundred years old.