After the herb room the tour touches areas with different special themes (pharmacy symbols, development of vessels and mortars, balances and weights) before reaching a work-place which was for a long period the most important one for pharmacists: the laboratory.
It is situated in the “Apothecary’s Tower”, a part of the fortifications built in the 15th century. Its overwhelming impression is due to the architecture of the tower with its mighty walls and high vaults.
Alchemy had a big influence on the development of a laboratory and its equipment. But unlike their alchemist colleagues the pharmacists of the 16th and 17th century used their knowledge only for the preparation of effective medicaments. Since the middle of the 18th century pharmaceutical chemistry took the place of the old alchemist techniques.
In the centre of the room there is the model of an athanor, a typical long-term furnace which was customary in many dispensaries until the 18th century. Technical laboratory glasses that were used above all for distillation are arranged at the walls as a representative part of one of the biggest collections all over the world. For example there are retorts, alembics (distillation flasks), vessels for catching liquids, flasks and phiols of most different shapes and colours. Other pharmaceutical equipment is also to be seen like sets of filtration, an apparatus for making ointment, different presses of tinctures, crucibles of all sizes and, as examples for modern times, Berzelius burners, Woulff bottles, a polarisation apparatus, and many other instruments.