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Doctors and medicines have been with us for a long time. Over the years, the methods of producing medicines and treating diseases have changed. A piece of the latest history of this industry shows us the Lithuanian Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy in Kaunas. Some exhibits make you shiver!
The museum is located at the Town Hall Square (Rotuses a. 28) in Kaunas. You have several rooms to visit, located on several levels. The museum is located on the northern wall of the square, and a large metal gate leads to the ticket office.
Tickets and opening hours
The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00. Tickets cost 2 Euro (normal) and 1 Euro (reduced). There is a possibility of guided tours (this option is additionally payable).
The tenement house in which the facility is located dates back to the 16th century and is impressive with its appearance. Watch out for narrow corridors and the sloping ceiling ;)
The origins of the museum related to medicine and pharmacy in Kaunas date back to 1936. A year later, the Lithuanian Pharmaceutical Society in Kaunas opened the first exhibition. It has been located in its current location since 1987, and is under the care of the Medical University of Kaunas.
Among the permanent exhibitions, we have a section devoted to the history of pharmacy, drug preparation rooms (Coctoria), a warehouse (Materialia), a laboratory, cellars, an exhibition of the history of medicine and others.
Interestingly, the exhibition shows a lot of curiosities that nowadays arouse laughter especially on the faces of young people. Well, in the old days, the equipment of dental offices was, for example, cocaine used for anaesthesia. The coca leaves in the pharmacy store are also not surprising.
When visiting the museum, you will also find the original equipment of Lithuanian doctors offices from years ago, pharmacies, but also a section devoted to the production of medicines. There are still working tablet making machines. It is true that their performance is much smaller than that of modern devices, but they look interesting!
At the exhibition dedicated to doctor’s offices, pay attention to the electroshock set or the manually powered drilling machine.
It is worth to reserve at least one hour for sightseeing. It should be enough to get to know the different parts of the exhibition.
An interesting accent related to our country is the cash register in the room with the reconstruction of the pharmacy. Despite the fact that there are rubles and kopecks on the keyboard, there are zlotys and pennies in the window where the numbers appear.
A curiosity in the exhibition is a fragment (in the basement) about tangled hair. In Lithuania, there was a superstition (it still prevails among older people) that they cannot be cut. If the hair is tangled so much that it cannot be untangled, cutting it may result in blindness! The guide said that at the end of the 21st century, there were patients in hospitals who needed the doctors’ assurances to not get blind.
Worth to visit?
Lithuanian Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy on Trip Advisor ranks first in the city in terms of opinions. In my opinion, this place is definitely worth visiting, because the story told at the exhibition is very interesting, and the topics discussed in the facility are linked with our lives..