Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Tag: pharmacy

Oldest pharmacy in Europe – visiting Tallinn

We ended up in Tallinn after a short stop in Sweden for family reasons. We went from Barcelona to Sweden and therefore we could take one of the night boats, a.k.a party boats, over to Estonia. We have been in Tallinn before in 2014, before we departed on our big journey, so it was familiar grounds to walk on for us.
We had important things to do here, but we also wanted to explore the city, so we used our favorite web site, Atlas Obscura, to find interesting and unexpected places to see here. That is how we ended up at the oldest pharmacy still operating in Europe. 


Vi hamnade i Tallinn efter ett kort stopp i Sverige av familjeskäl. Vi åkte från Barcelona till Sverige och därför kunde vi ta en av nattbåtarna, a.k.a festbåtarna, till Estland. Vi har varit i Tallinn en gång förut år 2014, innan vi påbörjade vår stora resa, så det var välbekanta marker att promenera på för oss.
Vi hade viktiga saker att göra här, men vi ville också utforska staden, så vi använde vår favoritwebbplats, Atlas Obscura, för att hitta intressanta och oväntade platser att se här. Det var därför vi hamnade på det äldsta apoteket, som fortfarande är öppet, i Europa.

We took the Tallink boat “Baltic Queen” from Stockholm to Tallinn. One night sleeping on the Baltic Sea before arriving to Estonia.

Tallinn greeted us with immense fog and we could barely see land while approaching Tallinn.

We spent our first morning eating breakfast at Reval Café – Reval is the old name of Tallinn.

We walked passed the Opera in Tallinn on our way to our accommodation and they had suitable parking barriers. Ulrika got sick during our travel to Estonia so we didn’t do much the first couple of days here in Tallinn.

A few days later a pregnant Ulrika felt better, and the weather had gone from rain and snow to sunshine, so we took our first short walk around town and visited the oldest pharmacy in Europe and Tallinn’s oldest Café.

We found this sign while walking to old town of Tallinn. There is a public wifi available in town, which only works during certain hours of the day. The public transportation system in Tallinn is easy to figure out and cheap.

We got to old town and now it was time to find the Raeapteek pharmacy museum. We had found the museum through our favorite web site, Atlas Obscura.

The Raeapteek has been in business in the same house located at the corner of the town hall square since the early 15th century.

The oldest records of the Raeapteek found state that the Raeapteek was already on its third owner in 1422 and historians think that the opening year of the pharmacy was around the year 1415.

Today the Pharmacy is still in business, but it is also a museum that you can enter for free to learn about its history.

A movie, English subtitles can be chosen, about its history is well worth your time in the pharmacy.

The Burchart family is the people associated with the pharmacy’s history. The family had the business for over 325 years, spanning over 10 generations, from around 1582 to 1911.
Around 1580, the Hungarian Johann Burchart moved to Tallinn and he got the chance to lease the pharmacy. He started the family tradition of giving the first-born son the name “Johann” and the first-born son was expected to carry on the family business.

Johann Burchart the IV could finally purchase the pharmacy from the city council In 1688. The Burchart’s family pharmacy business came to an end in the 1890 when the last male heir of the family, named Johann X Burchart, died and his sisters sold the pharmacy in 1911 to a C.R. Lehbert.

Sadly for C.R. Lehbert, communists entered Estonia and the pharmacy was nationalized in 1944 when the Soviet Union re-occupied Estonia.

The pharmacy has had a interesting history of products for purchase.
Customer have been able to buy mummy juice (powder made of oversea mummies mixed with liquid), blood-sucking leeches, burnt hedgehogs powder, burnt bees, bat powder, snakeskin potion and unicorn horn powder for treatment of their illnesses through out medieval times.

With “modern” times came modern medicines.

The Raeapteek is conveniently placed right at Town hall Square, where restaurants have their outdoor seating area. Not so much tourists now, which we like.

The town hall in Tallinn was built right next to what was then the market square and the building was completed in 1404. Today the market square is called the town hall square.

We (or Ulrika) had to rest, so we ended up at Tallinn’s oldest operating café, the Maiasmokk café.

The café has been in the same location since 1864 and the interior has remained unchanged for almost a century.

We ended Ulrika’s first day out of the apartment with an estonian cinnamon roll bun and some kind of coffee cake. We were glad that Ulrika now felt better, because we had things to do here in Tallinn.

Meeting up with Filip in Torrevieja

Ulrika’s newest family member Filip jumped on an airplane for the first time in his life to visit his best auntie (moster). He brought his mother as well, Ulrika’s sister Rebecca, and we had a lovely week in Torrevieja (Spain) together. Be prepared for cute baby pictures!


Ulrikas nyaste familjemedlem Filip hoppade på ett flyg för första gången i sitt liv för att besöka sin bästa moster. Han tog med sig sin mamma, Ulrikas syster Rebecca, och vi hade en underbar vecka i Torrevieja (Spanien) tillsammans. Var beredd på söta bebisbilder!

This little guy and his mother were the reason we ended up in Spain in the first place. Filip’s first travel abroad at 3.5 months and he came to visit his aunt, uncle and his grandparents (farmor and farfar).

Ulrika and her sister enjoying lunch at La Marina. The first week in Torrevieja was all about hanging out with Ulrika’s sister and nephew.

Selfie-time, most pictures in this blog post will include family members!

We spent our days walking around in Torrevieja and enjoying the sun. We got a lovely view of Torrevieja from the pier in the marina that stretch out 2 km from the coast.

The pier acts like a huge wave breaker for the marina, and protects the ships from nasty weather.

We were fortunate with the weather. It was still cold during the evenings, but warm during most days.

Torrevieja is surrounded by beaches and we actually saw a few people swim in the sea.

Ulrika snuggled with Filip as much as she could during their week together.

Rebecca, Filip ad Ulrika went to Centro Comercial Zenia Boulevard, a big shopping mall 8 km south of Torrevieja. They have a lot of well-known stores and a great play ground for children.

Rebecca loves to visit pharmacies when she is out travelling to see how they work and what products they have. She is a pharmacist herself so that’s why! We love the Spanish pharmacies- they can write prescriptions for you and take several blood tests, like glucose etc. Many pharmacies had a blood pressure machine and we took our blood pressure for 1 Euro per person. Also, it is to a pharmacy you go if you want to weigh your child and measure their height. No need to book appointments here.

Rebecca cooked dinner for us one night and we did a full Swedish taco night with Santa Maria products.

Grandpa (Farfar) fixed a baby chair for Filip so he could join us at the table.

Filip’s grandma and grandpa (farmor och farfar) live here in Torrevieja so they took us to their favorite places to eat. Filip had other ways to eat, so he got some peace and quiet under Rebecca’s poncho. Spanish people and drunk foreigners can get quite loud in small restaurants.

Two of Ulrika’s favorite persons in the world.

Torrevieja’s Carneval was going on so we went to see an incredible street show with people of all ages.

They wore incredible designs with a lot of detail. We only had a mobile phone, so the pictures aren’t so great.

One week with family goes fast, so we said good bye to Rebecca and Filip for this time. We stayed in Torrevieja, because it was time for Ulrika to do the week 12 routine check up.

See you soon Filip!

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