In the 16th century, Pieter Coudenberg (1517–1599), the pharmacist who established the medicinal garden which eventually grew into the Botanical Garden, added a pharmacy to the Sint-Elizabeth hospital. By the mid-19th century, this had been replaced by a beautiful new pharmacy. Yet after years of neglect – and even partial demolition – this precious fragment of our heritage was in a sorry state: long gone were the tidily arranged and carefully labelled bottles, the cabinets had lost their lustre – its history now ghostlike.
But the phoenix has now emerged from the ashes of disrepair to represent an exceptional union between the Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp and Saint Charles. Preserving and restoring the traditional cabinets and fittings of our Apothecary Shop has given us the perfect showcase for around 400 Saint Charles products, including natural cosmetics, aromatherapy and nutritional supplements – we believe Pieter Coudenberg would approve.