After 25 years, Bratislava's iconic 'Salvator' will serve as a pharmacy again

One of most photographed buildings in the capital is set to return to life.

The historical furniture of the Salvator pharmacy was exhibited in a private museum in Nové Mesto nad Váhom.The historical furniture of the Salvator pharmacy was exhibited in a private museum in Nové Mesto nad Váhom. (Source: Courtesy of Erik Kovács)

A pharmacy will reopen in the iconic Salvator building on Panská Street in Bratislava’s Old Town after more than 25 years. On Thursday, June 23, Bratislava City Council approved an indefinite lease of the premises, including its historical fittings, to a non-profit organisation, Lekáreň u Salvatora (Salvator Pharmacy), which belongs to the Slovak Pharmaceutical Chamber, the TASR newswire reported.

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The reopening of the pharmacy will be preceded by reconstruction of the premises. Completion of the work is estimated during the autumn. Subsequently, the original Baroque furniture, which the capital bought last year for almost €1 million from a private collector in Nové Mesto nad Váhom, will return to the pharmacy building, which is a national cultural monument.

The non-profit organisation will provide pharmacy services in the building seven days a week, but also present the premises and the historical pharmacy furniture to the general public.

“The lease contract also provides for the opening of a permanent exhibition focusing on the history of the Salvator Pharmacy and its furniture, and the organisation of educational activities for pharmacists and the public,” the city council informed.

The furniture of the pharmacy dates back to the first half of the 18th century, when the Jesuit order established a pharmacy in its building of the Jesuit college at nearby Kapitulská 26. Later, the pharmacy was moved, with its precious furniture, to the Csáky Palace on Panská 33, i.e. adjacent to today’s Salvator building. Only in 1904 did the wealthy businessman and art lover Rudolf Adler erect the present building as a house of apartments for rent, with a pharmacy on the ground floor. He customised the main room of the pharmacy to fit the existing historical pharmacy furniture.

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During the turbulent period after the fall of communism, the pharmacy passed into private hands and the furniture, after going through several owners, ended up in the private collection of Erik Kovács. The city agreed with him to buy the furniture last year. It secured exclusive ownership of the building containing the pharmacy, which is one of the most photographed facades in the historical centre, two years ago.

The city then declared its interest in reconstructing the building and making it accessible to the public. The Museum of the City of Bratislava has stated that the furniture is of incalculable historical and monumental value.

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