Catherine de Medici’s Apothecary (Pharmacy) is in the Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, France. An apothecary is a medical professional who makes medicines – it is now called a pharmacist.
Catherine de Medici (1519-1589) married Henri II (1519-1559) in 1533. He was the King of France from 1547 to his death in 1559, making her the Queen of France.
She was interested in creating medical potions from natural sources – animals and plants. One of Catherine de Medici’s collaborators was Nostradamus.
Early potions included deer horn, crayfish eyes, slugs, snail slime, and toads. Apothecaries later included more and more herbal preparations. The herbs were grown in the “Physics Garden.”
In the Château de Chenonceau, the Queen’s Apothecary was re-created from the original. It is now a museum gallery. It presents a rare collection of albarelli (medicinal jar), barrel pots, pill boxes, syrup pots, theriac (medical concoction) pots, mortars, and scales.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls