Slotsallé 4, The Old Pharmacy

At the western end of Slotsallé, close to the Palace, stands this well-kept longhouse. According to the beautiful anchor plates on the west gable, the house was built in 1767 and is thus one of the oldest ducal houses in the town.

The house originally had only five bays and an equal number of windows on either side of the front door, but when the pharmacy was moved to this location in the 1850s, two bays were added to the east. The wall dormer of the house appears original with beautiful anchor plates under the circular owl hole. The windows and doors are however of a more recent date.

The name of the house is a bit misleading, as the first occupant was the duke’s personal valet Æmilius Nielsen, and at that time the town’s pharmacy was located elsewhere.

The location close to the Palace tells something about the status associated with the position of valet. In 1803, Æmilius had moved into the Palace, perhaps due to old age or poor health. Since the house probably belonged to the duke, it may have been used by other court officials in the subsequent period.

The first pharmacy of the town was located at Slotsallé 14, and was run by Christian Albert Theodor Steinmann, who had been a field pharmacist at the field hospital at Augustenborg Palace. In 1851, he moved the pharmacy to Slotsallé 4.

Shortly after, the First Schleswig War ended and the pharmacy became independent, which meant that it could be sold. In the following years, the pharmacy changed hands several times, and each time with great financial gain. In 1883, the pharmacy was purchased by Willy Meyer, who owned it until 1906, when he sold it on to Paul Axel Wind. In 1920, he sold it on to Miss Theodora Overgaard, who, with the purchase, became Denmark’s first female pharmacist!

Theodora Overgaard was a recognized author, and from 1908 to 1920 she worked for the daily newspaper “Copenhagen” and “Women’s Joint Correspondence”. She had also been employed in pharmacies in Germany and Switzerland, so she probably was a skilled pharmacist.

In 1922, she sold the pharmacy, which had become a good and well-liked pharmacy with over-the-counter sales in Guderup, Lysabild and Tandslet.

In 1935, it was decided to relocate the pharmacy to Sønderborg, which already had a pharmacy. The town council, the newly opened state hospital and the citizens of the town all protested, but nothing helped. Augustenborg Apotek was moved and renamed Jernbaneapoteket (The Railway Pharmacy). Older photos show two large shop windows at the west end of the house. Today, they have been restored to their original appearance.