Vasilievsky Island – one of the most magical district in St. Petersburg, full of legends and myths. The pharmacy of Dr. Pel & Sons is one of the places that make it so. It was founded in 1858 by pharmacist Dr. Wilhelm Pel, and his business was quite successful. There was an institute, research laboratories, pharmaceutical factories, a library, warehouses, sales offices… Even today people can buy some medicines developed by Dr. Pel.
Vasilievsky Island at that time was considered a place of alchemy. Dr. Pel was not just a pharmacist, he was also an alchemist. One of the most famous chemist in history, Dmitri Mendeleyev, was a welcome guest in the house of Dr. Pel. According to legend, Wilhelm Pel played an important role in inspiring the famous periodic table of Mendeleev.
The pharmacy still works to this day! Also the guests can look at a small but very interesting exhibition devoted to Wilhelm Pel and his pharmaceutical activity. Ancient folios with names in latin, glass ampoules with medications from the early 20th century…
What is more interesting to me is another legend: Dr. Pel would bring griffins from a parallel world! He was walking them near the tower in the courtyard of the pharmacy. Locals say that sometimes you can still see their reflections in the windows.
Check it out by yourself; entrance to the pharmacy, exhibition and the courtyard is for free. If you want to learn more you can hire a guide, but it’s up to you.