Triolet French Drugstore

Photo by Els Slots.

Triolet French Drugstore (Pharmacy Museum) is part of the Tentative list of Cuba in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

This Drugstore from 1882 is preserved as the Pharmaceutical Museum in Matanzas. A large variety of original instruments can be seen. The recipes have survived in Prescription Books, part of the Memory of the World Register.

Map of Triolet French Drugstore

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

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Els Slots

The Netherlands - 30-Apr-24 -

Triolet French Drugstore (T) by Els Slots

The new Cuban T List has come as such a pleasant surprise. One of the new entries is the “Triolet French Drugstore (Pharmacy Museum)”: although it didn’t immediately ring a bell,  when I read that it is located in Matanzas I knew I had been there and that it stood out.

The former Pharmacy dates from 1882 and was founded by a Cuban and a French pharmacist. It revolutionized the regional concept of pharmacies by using the most advanced technologies of that period and preparing medicine on the spot using mostly natural ingredients. It also came with a library of detailed Prescription Books (now part of the Memory of the World Register) and a herbarium.

I visited in 2012. It was on the penultimate day of my 2-week Cuba trip, and the first day just being among Cubans – eating in the same restaurants, and riding the same train. The port city of Matanzas is located on the north coast of Cuba, between Havana and the tourist beaches of Varadero. I arrived by bus from Santa Clara and stayed overnight in a Casa Particular (Casa Luis Alberto) in Matanzas.

The Pharmacy Museum is the main attraction in town and lies at the city's central square. The ensemble of neoclassical building, interior design and inventory is beautifully preserved and very picturesque. The drawers and shelves are full of mysterious bottles, jars, vases, pills and so on. Especially the large 19th-century French porcelain jars are priceless.

The nearby bar/restaurant La Vigia, its interior “resembling a Viennese coffee house”, is also a great place to visit in Matanzas. I left Matanzas the next day for Havana Casa Blanca on the electric Hershey train, covering 100 kilometers in 4.5 hours. We stopped about 30 times, not even at villages but in the middle of the fields. And twice we had an unplanned stop when the staff had to go onto the roof of the train with a hammer to reshape the pantograph on top so that it continued to make contact with the overhead wires. Great travel memories!

Read more from Els Slots here.

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Full Name
Triolet French Drugstore (Pharmacy Museum)
Structure - Civic and Public Works
2024 Added to Tentative List

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Triolet French Drugstore (T)


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WHS 1997-2024