National Museum of Medicine of Ukraine

The idea of creating a museum of medicine in Ukraine appeared in the early 1960s, and the outstanding Ukrainian medical historian Alexander Grando played a major role in its formation. The Museum of Medicine of Ukraine was founded in 1973 and opened its doors to visitors in 1982 on the 1500th anniversary of Kyiv. Enthusiasts, under his leadership, worked for a very long time to find future museum exhibits and materials. The fruit of their work is what we can now see in three halls of the Museum of Medicine.
The Museum of Medicine is in the former building of the anatomical theater of the Faculty of Medicine of Kyiv University, which was built in 1853 and is an architectural monument of the 19th century. Immediately after its opening, the Anatomical Theater began to be considered the best in Europe, becoming famous for the unique museum collections of professors Alexander Walter, the first director of the theater, and Vladimir Betz. It was here that Betz discovered giant pyramidal cells of the cerebral cortex in 1874, and in 1878 Peremezhko discovered indirect division of animal cells (karyokinesis). These discoveries glorified Kiev University and domestic medical science throughout the world. The Anatomical Theater moved to Mechnikov Street in 1923 and now belongs to the Bogomolets Medical University.

First hall

The first hall of the museum tells about the formation and development of medicine on the territory of Ukraine since ancient times. Among the exhibits, noteworthy are objects for sacrifices, ancient medical instruments, medicinal plants that were used in folk medicine, fragments from chronicle sources telling about diseases and the fight against them. Of particular interest is the authentic interior of an ancient bathhouse from the times of Kievan Rus (around the 11th century), which was used not only for hygienic purposes, but also for treatment.

Second hall

The second hall of the museum reflects the development of medical education and science in Ukraine in the 19th and early 20th centuries: sets of medical instruments of that time, outstanding scientific works and discoveries in various fields of medicine, in particular the world’s first intravital diagnosis of myocardial infarction. The original interiors of the first operating room at the Faculty of Medicine of Kyiv University with full equipment of that time and full-scale figures of Pirogov and Karavaev, the office of the outstanding epidemiologist Zabolotny are also exhibited here.

Third hall

The third hall is dedicated to health care and the development of medical science in the 20th century. In particular, the fight against epidemics in Ukraine in the twenties, the organization of various medical institutions and research institutes, and the most significant contributions to domestic science by famous Ukrainian scientists are well shown. Such a tragic topic as Holodomor, Stalin’s repression of doctors and scientists and the participation of doctors in World War II. The medical consequences of the Chernobyl tragedy are also shown. The exposition of this hall ends with the activities of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine and the development of modern medicine in our country.

Where is the National Museum of Medicine of Ukraine?

Bohdana Khmelnitsky Street, 37
Mon-Fri: 09:30 – 18:00
+38 044 234 15 74