When you take a stroll through Zagreb’s Upper Town, you take a stroll into its rich history, from its medieval foundation until its 19th century palaces and promenades. But only a few places can boast of being able to convey a glimpse into the past in the way Zagreb’s oldest pharmacy “By the Black Eagle” can: it is a small, lovely building by the Stone Gate.
This community pharmacy has been in operation continuously since 1355, when Zagreb was famous for its craftsmen and guilds. Pharmacists (apothecaries) were organized into one of the richest guilds, and most of them were of Italian descent. This pharmacy was founded by Niccolo Alighieri, the great-grandson of Dante Alighieri.
The pharmacy got its name from an inn that was right next door, which provided accommodation to many travelers. It is no accident that a pharmacy would be that close to the town’s gate, too, because travelers often sought them, as they still do.
I like this spot because it reminds me of the long & noble history of my hometown and my profession, pharmacy, which is often being painted black, but it has been a part of our lives and our cities forever.
The building has been renovated many times, and it received its present look by the architect Bartol Felbinger in 1823. The interior is also being preserved in as original a form as possible (while still adhering to modern standards), so make sure to step into this charming piece of history in the Upper Town.