Plantin-Moretus Museum

Antwerp, Belgium

The Plantin-Moretus Museum honours the printers Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus. It is located in their former residence and printing establishment, Plantin Press, at the Friday Market.

The printing company was founded in the 16th century by Christophe Plantin, who obtained type from the leading typefounders of the day in Paris. Plantin was a major figure in contemporary printing with interests in humanism; his eight-volume, multi-language Plantin Polyglot Bible with Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Syriac texts was one of the most complex productions of the period. Plantin's is now suspected of being at least connected to members of heretical groups known as the Familists, and this may have led him to spend time in exile in his native France.

After Plantin's death it was owned by his son-in-law Jan Moretus. While most printing concerns disposed of their collections of older type in the eighteenth and nineteenth century in response to changing tastes, the Plantin-Moretus company 'piously preserved the collection of its founder.'

In 1876 Edward Moretus sold the company to the city of Antwerp. One year later the public could visit the living areas and the printing presses. In 2002 the museum was nominated as UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2005 was inscribed onto the World Heritage list.

The Plantin-Moretus Museum possesses an exceptional collection of typographical material. Not only does it house the two oldest surviving printing presses in the world and complete sets of dies and matrices, it also has an extensive library, a richly decorated interior and the entire archives of the Plantin business, which were inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme Register in 2001 in recognition of their historical significance.

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Details

Founded: 1576
Category: Museums in Belgium

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michael K (2 years ago)
Beautiful museum but fat too few explanations. Especially the room with the printing presses has none.
Luc Adriaenssen (2 years ago)
Top interesting museum, birthplace of Indus trial printing in Europe. Where the worldmaps of Mercator were edited, who put Antwerp In the center. Since then Antwerp is the centre of the world!
Cathy Power (2 years ago)
This is a brilliant museum, not just informing about printing and publishing in Antwerp but gives an insight into how a rich family lived back when printing was new technology. There exhibits are refreshingly accessible and visible. Well worth a look.
Papa Sergojan (3 years ago)
Great little place. Perfect for a date if you're a couple of explorers. Would love to see again
Eva Breedveld (3 years ago)
Way more interesting than it sounds. Museum is full of Rubens paintings, sketches and etchings. Also gives a very thorough and clear overview of the old printing process and how they needed to work together with different artists.
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From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

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