Iconic Pharmacy Salvator returned to the people


We are committed to ensuring that the iconic buildings that form the identity of Bratislava are protected and used in a meaningful way. The face of every city is shaped by such buildings. Unfortunately, in the past, Bratislava lost more historic buildings than it has preserved but this is one trend that the current city management is seeking to change. One example is the famous building of the Pharmacy Salvator in the historic centre of the Old Town, which is at last returning to the people of Bratislava as well as to visitors to our city after a gap of twenty-eight years. Just as we take care of the past, we will also look after the future of our city.

The Pharmacy Salvator building is one of the most photographed buildings in the historic city centre. It is one of the legendary and very-nearly lost spaces in our history. This icon of old Bratislava and a national cultural monument was acquired by the current city management in the summer of 2020 and the premises were renovated. Then, in 2021, the almost three-hundred-year-old historical furnishings were acquired. Now, the public will have the opportunity to see, explore and enjoy all the elaborate interior details through historical tours with qualified guides from the Bratislava Cultural and Information Centre.

"I am delighted that we are succeeding in returning very-nearly lost public spaces to the public. After twenty-eight years, we are also restoring life and function to a national cultural monument, the Pharmacy Salvator. We have restored the legendary premises, which had been left to deteriorate for years, we have returned the unique Baroque furnishings to them and soon the pharmacy will also regain its true pharmacy scent, because the Slovak Pharmacy Chamber will open a high-quality pharmacy here for everyone," says Mayor Vallo.

"Ever since I was a pharmacy student at the turn of the millennium, I often walked past this building and believed that one day real pharmacy life would come back to it. It is great that the city has taken this step and that all pharmacists are symbolically - through the Slovak Pharmacy Chamber – a part of this return," adds Ondrej Sukeľ, President of the Slovak Pharmacy Chamber.

Founded by Archbishop Juraj Lippay in the 17th century, the pharmacy underwent several changes of owner and location before finding its place in Adler House. This iconic building, with a new-style façade with a statue of Salvatore by the prominent Bratislava sculptor Alojz Rigele, was built by the pharmacist Rudolf Adler in 1904.

The pharmacy was in continuous operation in Adler House from 1904 onward, throughout the monarchy, the Czechoslovak Republic, the Slovak state as well as during socialism. The legendary pharmacy ceased its activity in 1995, when its premises became closed to the public. After many years of efforts, the city became the sole owner of Adler House and began the renovation of the premises. The city also managed to buy the unique and rare period furniture from a private collector, Erik Kovács, who restored the furniture and thereby contributed to its preservation for future generations.

The Baroque furniture with over three hundred years of history is the core value of the pharmacy. This furniture is believed to have originally served in the private pharmacy of Archbishop Juraj Lippay, who donated it to the Jesuits. The cabinets and shelves were added in 1904 with "modern" additions - a chandelier, weighing scales, cash register and lamps.

This year, the restorers from the Bratislava City Museum have installed the original historical furnishings, and last Saturday, 28th October 2023, the renovated premises were officially handed over to the Slovak Pharmacy Chamber, which will operate a standard pharmacy open to the public, as part of the (Re-Opening) of the legendary Pharmacy Salvator.

The Chamber will not only offer full pharmaceutical care, including special services such as individual preparation of medicines, measurement of health parameters and consultations on the risk of drug interactions, but also a professional historical interpretation focused on the history of Pharmacy Salvator and Slovak pharmacy. "Soon we will be organising a variety of educational and awareness-raising events on various pharmaceutical topics under the banner of Pharmacy Salvator," adds Ondrej Sukeľ.

Prior to opening of the pharmacy, we prepared a unique opportunity for the public to get to know this space, its drawers, bottles, marquetry, tare, mortar, lions and all the hidden corners and secrets of the pharmacy, which the non-medical eye does not usually see, at weekends in November. In addition, all visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy guided tours, concerts, discussions and workshops, and, above all, to familiarise themselves with a precious piece of Bratislava's history.