Culture & Art 28.04.2015

The pharmacy of the Franciscan Monastery

The pharmacy of the Franciscan Monastery of the Friars Minor in Dubrovnik is one of the inevitable components of every guidebook or tour.

How could it not be, when founded in 1317 along with the monastery it is one of the oldest in this part of the world (according to some, it is the third oldest surpassed in age only by the ones in Baghdad and Padua). If measured solely by the continuous work, it is perhaps the oldest on the continent. In the beginning it was used only for the purposes of the monastery, but as the needs of the city expanded, so has the pharmacy aided with the contributions of its citizens.

It smelled of mint and sage and many other medicinal plants which the Franciscans used in preparing potions. Their library holds quite a few pharmaceutical manuals with well-kept secret recipes and quite ordinary remedies. Among the manuscripts there are many formulas referring to elixirs that aimed to prolong youth, recipes for a good memory, but also those which, in their opinion, could preserve peace in marriage!


It is less familiar that, prepared under 200 year old recipes, the pharmacy still sells home-made, cold-pressed soaps and creams prepared of natural ingredients like olive oil, palm oil, almond oil, goat’s milk, lavender, rosemary, honey, lemon and crushed almonds.

Some of the products are Aqua Rosae, Aqua Rosmarini, Aqua Lavandulae, Gold Cream (wax and almond oil), cream of roses and rose oil, Rosemary Cream, Moisturizing cream with Almond, Wrinkle-Proof cream (cocoa butter and bergamot oil), Lip Balm (wax and vanilla).


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