Antica Spezieria di San Giovanni Evangelista

Borgo Pipa, 1, Parma
The first account of the existence of a pharmacy in the Abbey of San Giovanni Evangelista in Parma dates back to 1201, but its foundation could be even earlier, since the monastery was founded in 980 AD. It is likely, that at first it was only used as a Pharmacy Service to the Benedictines and that only later became a public pharmacy service. The current interior dates from the late sixteenth century and the beginning of the next century, whilst the layout of the premises underwent radical changes in 1766 when the Benedictines had to secularize the pharmacy to avoid its permanent closure, which was imposed by the Bourbon Minister Guglielmo Du Tillot. In 1896 the State acquired the premises, which it then reopened to the public in 1951, displaying a collection of mortars, earthenware jars, pots, stills and other objects obtained from governmental and private donations. Of the eight original areas of the Pharmacy, four still remain today, namely the “la Sala del Fuoco”, “la Sala dei Mortai”, “la Sala delle Sirene” and finally “la Sala del Pozzo”. (Hall of Fire, the Hall of Mortars, the Hall of the Sirens and finally the Hall of the Well). All the rooms are named after their specific contents or decorative elements that characterize them.

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