The House of Dr Sotir Antoniadi was since 1872 until 1947 a well functioning pharmacy. It was among the best equipped pharmacy practices in Plovdiv. Since 1981 a museum collection of pharmacy-related objects, unique in Bulgaria, is on display and visitors soak in pharmacy and medicine of the Bulgarian Revival 19th c. and of the turn of the century. Medication and remedies were then utterly based on natural components, herbs, minerals and essential oils. The most popular methods of remedy preparation in the past are presented.
Many of the means of production are on display – percolators for obtaining different tinctures, copper and glass distillers, apparatuses for maceration, infusion and sterilization, devices for making suppositories, globules, pilules and bougies. The American made metal cash register dates back to the early 20th c. The wall cases display authentic royal jars (vaserie) for the balms and ointments used by the royal family.
The prototype of the old pharmacies was a shop, named ahtarnitza, where medicinal herbs were sold, but also medications for animals, coffee, sugar, spices and other goods. A reconstructed ahtarnitza is on display on the first floor, exhibiting manual scales, mortars, water distiller, jars filled with herbs.
The diplomas of the medical doctors and pharmacists of the period hang on the walls and inform that they were issued by European universities. The knowledge and experience gathered abroad were used in the native country. The museum boasts a collection of old and precious pharmacy books too.
The pharmacy yard is a charming oasis with its grown medicinal herbs, spices and nice decorative plants.