Lisbon, Portugal

I’ve been saving my visits to the many museums the city has, for rainy days, however this winter has been so mild and dry that I find spring looming and I haven’t been inside a museum for weeks. This was rectified recently when I had a guided tour of the Museu da Farmácia, (Pharmacy Museum). An odd choice, you may think, it was really interesting, with some really good exhibits.

The museum opened in 1996 with the aim of preserving the history of the profession. There are exhibits from around the world, displays showing the development of the European Pharmacy from the middle ages to 1929 and a display of the portable pharmacies dating from Roman times. The exhibits are behind glass, so not ideal for taking clear photos.

The museum has pharmaceutical chests ranging from one used by surgeons of Roman armies dating from the 1st century to the drug pouch of the Portuguese army dating from 1900-1920.

Drug pouch, 1900-1920

These male and female chastity belts are made of iron, the male one dates from the 19th century and the female one from the 17-18th century.


There’s an interesting collection of old advertising posters, and these beautiful sculptures hanging high up in the entrance of the museum. The entrance hall also has a small tribute exhibition to Odette Ferreira (1925-2018), a pharmacist, university professor and researcher who was part of the Luso-French team that discovered and identified HIV-2 in the mid-1980s. Between 1992 and 2000, Odette Ferreira was the coordinator of the National Commission for the Fight Against AIDS, a position she held on the appointment of the Minister of Health, having developed projects with a significant impact on the prevention and dissemination of the disease. She died in October 2018, aged 93, the same year Portugal was considered by the WHO ‘as an example in prevention, diagnostic, treatment and care of HIV patients’, much of this due to Odette. The exhibition advises, ‘Odette battled against a conservative society and fought against fear, ignorance and prejudices, in an always renewed attempt at saving human lives.’

We have had a very mild winter here and these are random shots of the city taken whilst out walking.

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