Museum Plantin-Moretus

Welcome to the authentic home and studio of the Plantin-Moretus printing family. This is where the age-long history of the book, printing and entrepreneurship really comes to life. It is home to the oldest printing presses in the world. There are tens of thousands of books about pretty much everything people find fascinating and a great fine art collection. This UNESCO word heritage offers you a unique historical experience as it takes you back to Antwerp’s golden sixteenth century.

Impressive family history

The Frenchman Christophe Plantin settled in Antwerp around 1550. In 1555 he established his famous printer-publisher’s, making him the first industrial printer in history.
 
Officina Plantiniana, as Plantin named his publishing house, proved to be a successful business.  It expanded into a multinational with branches in Leiden and Paris. The firm kept going for around 300 years, first run by Plantijn himself, later by his successors, the Moretus family.
 
In 1876 Edward Moretus sold the whole site, house and printing establishment to the City of Antwerp with the request to turn it into a museum.

First museum in the world on the UNESCO list

The unique collection, art and the publishing house resulted in the Plantin-Moretus Museum being recognised as UNESCO world heritage in 2005. To date it is the only museum in the world on this list.

The renovation

In 2016 the Plantin-Moretus Museum was fully renovated. In addition to a new building with a reading room and storage there is a new permanent exhibition. The museum and family come to life more than ever before thanks to a range of films, books you can leaf through and a space in which you can try your hand at printing. The ground floor focuses on Plantin and his family; the upstairs focuses on the publishing house.

A museum full of things to see

The magnificent house is still full of wallpaper, cordovan leather, paintings and sculptures. On the walls there is a series of portraits which the Moretus family had ordered from Rubens. The print room contains prints and drawings by Antwerp masters from the sixteenth century to the present day.
 
Be sure to enter the large library. In 1640 this was home to the Moretus family’s private collection. And admire the museum’s enclosed garden, an oasis of tranquillity which looks just the same now as it did back then.
 
On the first floor the focus is on the publishing house with which Plantin and his descendants put Antwerp on the map. Ten masterpieces which shaped the world show us how important the publishing house was for the development of humanity – it’s not for nothing that the museum’s archives are on the Memory of the World register. Icing on the cake: dating back to around 1600, these printing presses are the oldest in the world.

Looking for more inspiration to turn your visit into an unforgettable experience? Then read our seven tips for your visit to the Plantin-Moretus Museum.
 

 

 

Contact

Vrijdagmarkt 22
Antwerpen
+32 32 21 14 50
http://www.museumplantinmoretus.be
museum.plantin.moretus@stad.antwerpen.be

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Free visit to the museumshop and reading room

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Rockox House

Rockox House

This museum was once the home of 17th century mayor Nicolaas Rockox, an art collector and also a friend of Rubens. The Rockox House is one of the host locations for the KMSKA, which will re-open in 2018 following its renovation. The exhibition The Golden Cabinetbrings together masterpieces from the KSMKA and the Rockox House, providing visitors with an idea of how an art room must have looked during the Golden Age.
Collection
Works by Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens, Teniers, Breughel, Metsijs.

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