Saint Charles store Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
Saint Charles store Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
Signet Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp

Saint Charles

A New Chapter in History Begins

The story of the Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp begins with the monks and nuns whose calling it was to care for those in need – whether physical or spiritual. When, in 1238, they settled on this site to establish the Sint-Elisabeth hospital, these early ‘apothecaries’ grew and foraged plants to concoct their own cures and potions. Their success in healing the sick and injured led to continuous improvements and extensions.

Saint Charles store Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
Saint Charles store Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp

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 By the mid-19th century, this had been replaced by a beautiful new pharmacy.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.

Saint Charles store Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp

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.

Saint Charles store Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp

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 By the mid-19th century, this had been replaced by a beautiful new pharmacy.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.

Saint Charles store Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp

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.

Saint Charles store Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp

Reinventing the Monastery’s Pharmacy

Sixth-generation pharmacist Alexander Ehrmann and his business partner Richard König had a clear vision when they established their Saint Charles brand in a 19th century Viennese pharmacy: combining Europe’s traditional healing practices (Traditional European Medicine) with modern insights, using organic and regionally sourced herbs and raw materials. Saint Charles’s approach is in perfect harmony with our desire to revive some of the Sanctuary’s earliest traditions.

Discover
  • It’s a revival! The former monastery’s pharmacy and traditional furnishings have been painstakingly restored to their 19th century splendour for our Saint Charles Apothecary Shop.

  • Sustainability is key: Products are packaged in brown or violet glass, which looks great and offers the safest protection for the precious contents.
  • Extraordinary experiences: Special tasting areas offer you the chance to sample the store’s treasures in the historic apothecary ambiance.
  • Right to the roots: traditional naturopathic wisdom is combined with the latest findings.
  • Many of the herbs used in Saint Charles’s recipes can also be found in the Botanical Gardens.
Saint Charles store Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
We aim to provide our customers with a memorable experience while also familiarising them with nature’s healing treasures and offering well-informed advice. This is why we address as many senses as possible in our Saint Charles store, with olfactory effects on psyche and body playing a key role.

Marc Alofs
Managing Director Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp

The penny dropped when I saw the statue of the pharmacist Pieter Coudenberg in the Botanical Garden. I instantly understood the connection between the history of this wonderful place and our vision for the future. The Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp project fascinated and inspired us from the start. We saw our approach mirrored in the extraordinary concept and shared passion for herbal medicine and maintaining traditions of healing.

Alexander Ehrmann
Pharmacist Saint Charles Apothecary Vienna

Saint Charles store Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
Saint Charles

Wednesdays – Saturdays, 10am – 6.30pm
Sundays, 10am – 4pm

Traditional European Medicine
LUXURY BOTANIC EXPERIENCES

Photocredit: ® Saint Charles