The apothecary laboratory of the History of Pharmacy Collection in Cluj-Napoca is reconstructed in the basement and can be accessed, though not quite easily, in the corner of the Materials’ Room. Mind the steps – they are cut-out, asymmetrical, and very steep. Though the basement is the oldest part of the building, the so-called Maucksch-Hintz House, with Renaissance door frames and even reused Roman epigraphic monuments, one cannot be certain that it was ever used as a laboratory or just as a storage space. Its main problem is not the access, uncertain during the day as the current steps were installed in the 1970s, but the evacuation of smoke (an inevitable result of using the stove for various apothecary procedures) and the problematic ventilation of the basement. What is more, when the pharmacy was nationalized, the lab was already located on the first floor, in today's Books' Room.
|Mind the steps!|
Two rooms are reconstructed downstairs, one just for storage and one for the actual preparation of medicines. The latter contains the reconstruction of an apothecary stove and various original tools and utensils from old pharmacies in Transylvania: an alembic, a retort, several glass tubes and crucibles, types inherited from alchemy, percolators, graded cups, mortars, three-legged pots and many other items. Before the chemical synthesizing of the ingredients, the preparation of drugs involved relatively simple procedures such as the crushing, boiling, distillation, maceration and percolation of various plants, minerals and substances of animal origin.
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|Reconstructed apothecary laboratory in Cluj-Napoca|