Attractions & museums

    Raeapteek (Town Hall Pharmacy)

    Open since 1422, this curious little shop on Town Hall Square is in fact the oldest continuously running pharmacy in Europe.

    Ten generations of the same family, the Burcharts, operated it from1581 to 1911. It was so famous in its day that the Russian tsar used to order medicines from here.

    Remedies sold at the pharmacy in medieval times included snakeskin potion, mummy juice and powdered unicorn horn (for male potency). But this was also a place to buy everyday items like jam, tea, claret, gunpowder and, most importantly, marzipan. Marzipan was one of the pharmacy's best sellers, one that local legend insists was actually invented as a curative here in the 15th century.

    The historic site still operates as a pharmacy today, selling modern products, but its side room houses an interesting display of 17th- to 20th-century medicinal bric-a-brac.

    Share

    TripAdvisor® Traveler Reviews

    TripAdvisor logo tripadvisor rating 4.5 of 5

    based on 608 reviews

    • Really interesting

      tripadvisor rating 5 of 5
      June 23, 2020 By Mark_Dornoch

      The world's oldest continually working pharmacy - 600 years and counting. The counter area with the wooden cabinets and drawers reminded me of old British pharmacies I had experienced 50 years... Read more comments

    • Quick Visit for Bragging Rights

      tripadvisor rating 4 of 5
      April 23, 2020 By EileenMtShasta

      I stepped in for a few minutes just because of the history, but the part with Pharmacy displays was closed. However, besides real modern medicines, there were a lot of touristy items, including old... Read more comments

    • Very interesting

      tripadvisor rating 5 of 5
      February 12, 2020 By radoslavd171

      Very interesting place combining working pharmacy and museum with many historic items, showing how the pharmacy and medication evolved over the centuries.