Zagreb pharmacies – preservers of knowledge and urban social life from the 14th century onward

In the XIV century no one could have known that one day, Zagreb would be proud to be one of the first European cities that had a pharmacy. Back in the day, the oldest Zagreb store ‘K Crnom orlu’ (located in the Upper Town near Kamenita Vrata), started to create their own potions, thus starting the long tradition of Pharmacists in the city. The townsfolk would come at night and under the flickering flames of candles they drank potions and prayed for healing. The main purpose of the ritual was to suppress the doings of the city witches. Later in time, witches had ‘disappeared’ and the pharmacy got its primary function – it became a place for healing but also a center of medicinal knowledge. A pharmacy that had drugs that worked was proof of a city’s value, and Zagreb’s value soared.

Namely, having a pharmacy was another sign of the city’s size and importance. The fact that Zagreb had had a pharmacy and a doctor lured the intellectual elite of the time to the city. Due to the medical safety the pharmacy provided, they deemed Zagreb as a place ‘worthy of their residence’. Their presence in the city sparked even faster development cycles, luring more knowledgeable people to the city, creating a snowball effect of development. People and their drugs, man.

Did you know!

Pharmacies were the first and only medical institutions in the cities. They influenced the improvement of health, medical and knowledge in general.