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  • Exterior of the Conservatorio di San Niccolò, Prato.zoom in altra finestra
  • Exterior of the Conservatorio di San Niccolò, Prato.zoom in altra finestra

Farmacia del Conservatorio di San Niccolò [Pharmacy of the San Niccolò Conservatory]

Around 1321, a convent for Dominican nuns was built thanks to the legacy of Cardinal Niccolò Albertini. From the time of its foundation, the institution was engaged in the field of education. No precise historical records have instead survived as to the origins of the pharmacy, situated in a room formerly used for the archives, on the eastern side of the convent's cloister. We know that it was specialised in preparations for bone diseases based on medicinal plants. We also know that it must have been operating as a convent pharmacy already in 1764, the date appearing on a scroll above the cabinet doors to the right of the entrance. The cabinets, built to order for the pharmacy, are painted light blue and white, with doors decorated with forty monochrome blue panels depicting landscapes. The cabinets standing to the left and in front of the entrance date from a later time, and show stylistic affinity to the furnishings of the Misericordia e Dolce Hospital, now kept in Palazzo Pretorio in Prato. The convent's antique pharmacy, with the original walnut counter, conserves pharmaceutical jars and utensils dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as objects from earlier times, Ginori majolicas and glassware.


Texts by Francesco Boccanera, Anna Vittoria Laghi

English translation by Catherine Frost

Last update 18/gen/2008