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Over the years, the Health and Pharmacy Museum has become a reference both at national and international levels. The thousands of visitors received every year and the numerous prizes awarded to the Museum are proof of the quality of our project.Opened in June 1996 in Lisbon, the Health and Pharmacy Museum is the result of the unequivocal desire of the Portuguese Pharmacies to preserve the history of the pharmaceutical profession. In 2010, it was the city of Oporto’s turn to receive the Health and Pharmacy Museum, and a new space was opened to the public.

MF Lisbon
MF Porto
Galeria do OPorto   
Opening a Health and Pharmacy Museum in Portugal, similar to the ones existing in other countries, was a long-lasting dream of all Portuguese pharmacists. However, until 1981 that dream was constantly postponed due to different reasons. Giving the first step for the creation of a collection, the Directorate of the National Association of Pharmacies (ANF) sent that year a request to all Portuguese pharmacies to donate pieces for the future Health and Pharmacy Museum. The ANF member’s enthusiastic response to this initiative surpassed all expectations and a collection representative of the history of the Portuguese pharmacy was gathered.  The generosity showed by the Portuguese pharmacies also made it possible to safeguard a heritage that was in danger of disappearing. In order to build a collection that would also be representative of the history of the world pharmacy, between 1997 and 2010 the Museum worked to acquire pieces at national and international auctions and from private collectors and is now the owner of an exceptional collection, considered an international reference. 

Farmácia Portuguesa

Portuguese Pharmacy

In Lisbon, the space and atmosphere of the pharmacies were recreated so as to allow the visitor to immediately seize the evolution of the history and technology of the Portuguese pharmacy, from the end of the 15th century to the present day. The Museum displays several old pharmacies, from an 18th century apothecary to the Liberal Pharmacy, an early 20th century pharmacy example.  It is also worth mentioning the recreation of a traditional Chinese pharmacy from Macao, dating back to the end of the 19th century, and an area dedicated to the Military Pharmacy. In Oporto, it is possible to visit the excellent reconstitution of Estácio Pharmacy, opened to the public in 1924, at Rua Sá da Bandeira. This pharmacy was famous in the late 1940s for its “speaking scale”, which became a hallmark of the downtown of Porto at that time.

Farmácia Internacional

Pharmacy in the World

Dealing with thematic related to Pharmacy and Health, both Museums have outstanding pieces whose origin can be traced back to civilizations and cultures as distant in time and space as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Incas, the Aztecs, the Islam, Tibet, China, Japan, etc. In Oporto, another highlight is the reconstitution of an Islamic Pharmacy of the Ottoman Empire that existed inside a 19th century Damascus palace. In Lisbon, others musts are the portable pharmacies used in the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its last trip of the millennium (December 2000), the medicines of the Mir Orbital Station and the Russian astronauts’ food.  The history of pharmacy ends with the 20th century great discoveries and scientific advances in the area of health, such as the discoveries of penicillin and antibiotics, precious gifts to mankind, and the more recent discovery of the molecular structure of the DNA.

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