Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

In association with the Smithsonian Institution



Apothecary © Paul S with photo credit

Up until its closing in the 1950s, the Apothecary was the oldest pharmacy in continuous operation in the United States.

About the Apothecary

The 1752 Apothecary laboratory is located just behind the Moravian Book Shop off Main Street. In 1743, within two years of the settlement of Bethlehem, an apothecary was opened in the Gemeinhaus. The apothecary was then moved into the Bell House before a laboratory was erected in 1752. In 1747, Moravians planted an herb garden to provide medicinal herbs for the apothecary. The garden in front of the Apothecary door is representative of the types of herbs grown in early Bethlehem.

The apothecary supplied medicines not only for Bethlehem but also for the surrounding areas; it developed into one of the most successful enterprises for the Church. When the apothecary closed in the 1950s, it was the oldest apothecary in continuous operation in the United States.

The original 1752 compounding hearth is intact inside the structure, and many of the artifacts, including a set of mid-18th century Delft apothecary jars, medical instruments, recipes, prescriptions, homeopathic kits, and other related ephemera, are in the collection of the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem.


How can you visit the Apothecary?


The Apothecary is open to the public upon request as part of the
Moravian Museum of Bethlehem tour.

  • Moravian Museum of Bethlehem Tour-
    Saturday through Sunday, 11 am - 4 pm
    (with the last tour at 3 p.m)
  •  Or by appointment-
    From Monday through FridayIf you would like to schedule appointment, by calling
    1-800-360-TOUR  48 hours in advance.

Take a step back in time and discover Historic Bethlehem with a Pass Into History.

Admission to the Apothecary is available through Pass Into History, an admission pass which lets you explore between two and five historic sites.


Thousands of people have walked these streets, farmed these lands, built these buildings and industries. Thousands of stories, thousands of lives to cherish.

Join a community of people who share our mission to preserve:

  • 20 historic structures
  • 60,000+ collections and artifacts
  • 3 centuries of rich history

Need Directions?

Start your visit by stopping by our Visitor Center.

Order your tour tickets, gather information, and shop in the museum store!

Get your Insiders Guide!

Original Cover Historic Moravian Bethlehem Book

Everything you need you know about the
Apothecary and more!

Want to see more of what Historic Bethlehem has to offer?

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74 West Broad Street, Suite 310, Bethlehem, PA 18018 | Phone: 610-882-0450 | FAX: 610-882-0460 | [email protected]

Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Registration and financial information about Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999, or on the web at www.dos.state.pa.us. Registration does not imply endorsement.