Recently I had the opportunity to visit such a hidden gem, the old house of Rabbi Loewe, now museum Speculum Alchemiae.
After the floods in 2002 the workers discovered some hidden passages leading to this very house, revealing the long-lost Alchemy Laboratory in Hastalska 1, Josefov.
Creating the lab in the Jewish Quarter was a very strategic move as Judaism was more open to occultism. Names like John Dee, Edward Kelly, Tadeáš Hájek z Hájku and Tycho Brahe were associated with this building.
As the repair work continued more was discovered. Hidden in the cellars were ancient recipes in Latin and even a bottle with original content. The liquid was analysed, the recipes were translated and given to the Benedictine Monks. They are now producing a slightly modified version of those Elixirs which you can buy in the museum.
As I’ve mentioned before Alchemists were the Masters of disguise so don’t be surprised that when you enter the building it looks like the old pharmacy. The secret lurks elsewhere…