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oma met kleinkind in de grote bibliotheek foto: Ans Brys

About the Museum

The original residence and workshop of the Plantin and Moretus publishing dynasty offers you a unique historical experience, which is why it is a Unesco world heritage site. The building’s creaking oak planks and panels seem imbued in the history of books, the art of printing and the story of a family’s entrepreneurial flair. The oldest printing presses in the world can be found here, and much more besides...

Museum Plantin-Moretus in a nutshell

The Plantin-Moretus Museum is the first museum to be on the Unesco World Heritage List. It is the original residence and printing house of the Plantin-Moretus publishing family in the heart of Antwerp.

Welcome to Plantins house

In 1576, Plantin relocated his printing works to the Vrijdagmarkt. His family lived and worked there for three hundred years. They converted the ‘Gulden Passer’ (‘Golden Compasses’) into a beautiful mansion. The Moretus family cherished their printing works, which had become a part of Antwerp’s heritage. The last owner, Edward Moretus, sold the house to the City of Antwerp in 1876.

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Meet Plantin and his family

Christophe Plantin and his son-in-law Jan Moretus were a revolutionary duo. They were the first printers on an industrial scale – the Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg of their day. Four hundred years later, you can simply drop in on them. Because their home and workplace are still there, as if they had just popped out to the bakery.

kopergravure van Europa door Abraham Ortelius

Discover the work of the Plantin printing office

In 1555, Christoffel Plantijn released his first book. In less than twenty years, Plantijn's publishing house has become the top in Europe.

Dive into the collection

The Museum Plantin-Moretus presents three hundred years of book-printing art and family history. You can admire the oldest printing presses in the world and a rich collection of art, including portraits by Rubens. In the library, you will find manuscripts, incunabula and original prints. And the archives tell you about daily life in both the printing works and the mansion.

Want to know more



The family Plantin and Moretus kept things going for nine generations with great expertise. Just like the Museum staff today. They look after the house and its collection with pride. Get to know them and take a look behind the scenes.


There is just one museum on the UNESCO list. The Museum Plantin-Moretus. That is thanks to its combination of prestigious patrician mansion, centuries-old workshop and – for more than 125 years – outstanding museum. Plus a virtually intact business archive dating back to 1555.


The Museum Plantin-Moretus is a place for encounter and collaboration. Lovers of books, typography and historic houses are all drawn here. Expertise is shared with other institutions and partnerships are formed.

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