Historical pharmacist prescribing heavy metal music by Emil Boc

Historical pharmacist prescribing heavy metal music by Emil Boc

Okay, so the Pharmacy Museum in Cluj was open before Valentine’s Day.  But we didn’t visit until recently.

Ever since 2020, the old house of George Hintz had been closed, and it appeared to be closed for good.  At first, the walls were stuck up.  The street was being excavated but appeared to be in a perpetual state of disrepair.

Eventually, a logo appeared on the door.  But the door was still firmly shut.  We walked by many times, hoping it would somehow open, but eventually gave up.  But this week, all that changed.

I had been read the story of Helen Keller’s “Three Days to See.”  It was like, one of those three days left to live films, but this time, what would you do if you could only see for three days?  Intending to see something, my eyes were open wider than usual to town.  And I noticed someone leaving the Pharmacy.

The door is a bit tough, it doesn’t budge easily.  But, it opens.

Historically, there were four levels of the pharmacy.  We see the top level in a video in the basement, but only the basement and the ground floor are open to the public.  It is not very big, just two medieval houses merged into one small family pharmacy.

How do we know it was open on Valentine’s Day if we didn’t see it until now?  There are remnants of an old exhibit there.

The staff are friendly, there is one small toilet for both men and women and a small horde of coins.  Some of the history of the house and the Hintz family of pharmacists is written in English and Romanian (there are also guides in Hungarian), and more is included in the ten-part story of the restoration in the basement.

The exhibit includes two things you can touch (children can guess a herb, and there is a cabinet that can be opened), many historical medical items (from x-ray machines to microscopes to a 1960s breast pump), informational placards, a few old remedies with explanations, many medical containers (including bottles that were excavated last year), and a restored house with a nice ceiling.  It is not the largest museum, but it does tell part of Cluj’s history and can also be of interest to those interested in the history of medicine or science.

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