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

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rob McKinnon (2 years ago)
Really interesting museum about a family who brought the printed word to the masses. One of the most significant inventions of all time and a must see. Audio guide is short and snappy so you can move through at a reasonable pace. UNESCO listed
Φαίδρα Ρήγα (2 years ago)
Truly interesting museum, not crowded, with free audio guide and very helpful staff. There is worth every single penny of its ticket fee. It is informative and with amazing exhibits
Heather H (2 years ago)
An excellent museum with an extensive collection and a really well done audio guide. Significantly more Rubens art here than at the nearby Rubens House. Will definitely be back.
Cain Hands (2 years ago)
I almost walked past this place without noticing it all, but there were some cool woodcut images on the Building which piqued my interest so I had to go inside. There was no queue, the staff were really helpful and spoke perfect English, it was a mind opening experience and so so beautiful inside that I would highly recommend everyone going pst should pop in! It’s worth the money as you get some free prints and a free audio guide.
Becca JDB (2 years ago)
Staggeringly good. We spent at least three hours here. The building itself is fascinating, and there is far more to see and learn about than printing. A must for anyone interested in books, language, skilled craft, history and the Netherlands. The free (to borrow) guidebook (available in many languages) is one of the best I’ve ever used. Succinct, well-written and as compelling as a novel.
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