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Pauls Stradiņš Museum of the History of Medicine
The Museum was established in 1957. It is based on the Pauls Stradiņš’ personal collection. The goal of the museum is to promote an interest in society about the development of medicine from ancient times to the present day, and also to advance understanding of the close relationship between history and medicine.
The museum receives 40,000 visitors annually. The Museum collection is comprised of more than 199,000 objects. Thematic exhibits regarding subjects of current interest to society are organized each year. The Museum’s core exhibition is housed on four floors, arranged in chronological order. The exhibits relate the story of medical development. Pauls Stradins himself was interested in presenting this information.
The story begins in the basement of the building, wehre exhibits and dioramas relate the early beginnings of the development of medicine.
The treatment of traumas, the bandaging of wounds, folk medcine applications, all this was already known in ancient times. An integral part medicine in the early days was magical medicine - amulets, charms, and sorcery, practiced by sorceresses, shamans and soothsayers.
The Middle Ages
As the story continues, visitors may view a re-created monastery hospital and pharmacy of the Middle Ages, visit a town of the Middle Ages as conceived by Professor Pauls Stradiņš, and become acquainted with of the most widespread diseases and treatment methods of those times.
Medicine in the 18th and 19th centuries
The exhibit on contemporary developments gives us an idea of the rapid progress in medicine. It is a time of achievement and discovery. X-ray technology and its uses in medicine are discovered. The first surgical operations using ether as an anesthetic are performed. The tuberculosis pathogen and the smallpox vaccine are discovered.
Medicine in Latvia
A viewing of the exhibition ends with the achievements in medicine in Latvia. The famed Latvian spas, medicine in Riga, and, of course, the consulting-room of Prof. Pauls Stradiņš, are only a part of this broad exhibition. There is a section dedicated to space medicine, an area of research where Latvian scientists have played a role.