Cultural Heritage

We are opening the iconic pharmacy “Lekáreň u Salvatora”


After almost 30 years, we are returning to the people of Bratislava the well-known building Lekáreň u Salvatora in the historic centre of the Old Town. We have restored the legendary premises, which had been left to languish for years. We have also returned its unique baroque furniture, and the true smell of a pharmacy is back, too, because the Slovak Chamber of Pharmacists is opening a high-quality pharmacy for everyone here from Monday (1 July 2024).

The Salvator pharmacy building is one of the fabled and almost lost spaces in our history. In the summer of 2020, the current city management succeeded in acquiring 100% ownership of this icon of old Bratislava and national cultural monument and in renovating the premises of the pharmacy. Then, in 2021 it was able to acquire the almost 300-year-old historical furniture, the installation of which was completed at the end of last year by restorers from the Bratislava City Museum. At that time the restored premises of the iconic pharmacy could then be handed over to the Slovak Chamber of Pharmacists, which will operate an exceptional pharmacy here open to the general public.

“Returning the life and function back to this beautiful space was in no way easy. Thank you to everyone who took part in the revival of the pharmacy. Lekáreň u Salvatora is a demonstration of the fact that the mistakes of the past do not have to be here forever. We can fix them. To bring an iconic building back to life, a piece of our history, and a pharmacy with which thousands of Bratislavans have lived over the centuries. It is important to me that the iconic buildings that shape the identity of Bratislava are protected and meaningfully used and can thus serve not only us, but also future generations for decades to come. I’m glad that this was successful, and I want to take this opportunity to wish that the new pharmacy operates here for at least as long as its predecessor,” said Matúš Vallo, Mayor of the Capital City.

“Every profession has some inimitable symbol – whether this is a person, a place, a work or an idea. The symbol of the tradition of Slovak pharmacy is, without a doubt, Lekáreň u Salvatora, with everything that this name means – the circumstances of its founding, the preserved furniture, the artistic symbolism, the building and the historical moments that have passed through this space. I’m glad, thanks to the initiative of City Hall of the Capital City, that from this point on we can consider the almost thirty years of its closure as just another of episode of its history. I believe that we are at the beginning of a great work, which will no longer be just a symbol, but a real, fixed point to which all pharmacists and mainly patients and the tourist public, will be proud of. We are ready to provide the best that is in us,” added SLeK president Ondrej Sukeľ.

The premises of the pharmacy, which thanks to the cooperation with the Municipal Monument Preservation Institute in Bratislava managed to get as close to the original state as possible, were partially made accessible to the public at the end of last year. In the course of guided tours with qualified guides from the Bratislava Cultural and Information Centre, visitors could properly look through it, examine it and enjoy all the elaborate interior details. This has not changed despite the launch of the pharmacy, which starting in July will be open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. until 6 p.m. In the pharmacy, the chamber will offer not only complete pharmaceutical care, including less widespread services, such as individual preparation of medicines, the measuring of health parameters and consultations on the risk of drug interactions, but also a professional historical exhibition focused on the history of Lekáreň u Salvatora and Slovak pharmacy.

“In the near future, we are also planning to organise educational and enlightening events on various pharmaceutical topics under the banner of Lekáreň u Salvatora,” adds Ondrej Sukeľ.

From the history of Lekáreň u Salvatora

Founded by Archbishop George Lippaio in the 17th century, the pharmacy passed through several changes of ownership and locations before finding its home in Adler’s House. This iconic building with a neo-period style façade and a statue of Salvator by prominent Bratislava sculptor Alojz Rigele was built by pharmacist Rudolf Adler in 1904.

From 1904, the pharmacy operated continuously in Adler’s House during the monarchy, the Czechoslovak Republic, the Slovak State and also during the socialism era. The legendary pharmacy ceased its activities only in 1995, after which its premises were closed to the public. After many years of effort, the city of Bratislava became the sole owner of Adler’s House and began renovation of the premises. The capital also succeeded in buying unique and rare period furniture from the private collector PharmDr. Erik Kovács, who also restored the furniture, thereby saving it for future generations.

Baroque furniture with more than 300 years of history is the main value of the pharmacy. It is believed that this furniture was originally used in the private pharmacy of Archbishop Juraj Lippay, who donated it to the Jesuits. The cabinets and shelves were supplemented with “modern” accessories – a chandelier, a scale, a cash register and lamps – in 1904.