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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.

detail van een oude drukpers


In the Museum Plantin-Moretus, the oldest printing presses in the world are not the only things to discover. The original lead type of fonts such as Garamond, the Gutenberg Bible and ancient manuscripts tell the story of how writing evolved into the art of printing. Portraits by Peter Paul Rubens hang on the walls and the house is beautifully furnished. Check out the indispensable highlights here.

portretten van Seneca in de Justus Lipsius kamer

Portraits by Rubens

You will find an extensive collection of paintings in the Museum Plantin-Moretus. Nearly half of these are portraits of the family. The painter? Peter Paul Rubens!


The museum’s collection includes 638 manuscripts, ranging from the ninth to the eighteenth century. The basis of the collection was laid by Christophe Plantin himself: he bought manuscripts that he could use to make book editions of Greek and Roman authors and church fathers. Plantin was also given manuscripts.

Old printed books

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The archives

On 4 September 2001, UNESCO included the archives of the Officina Plantiniana in its “Memory of the World” list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. This recognition by UNESCO internationally establishes that this business and family archive is vital for the cultural history of humanity. Besides this archive, the museum also preserves items from families that are related to the Moretus family in one way or another.

Precious masterpieces in depot

Some original pieces of the collection highlights are (temporarly) not on display.

The Print Cabinet

The Print Cabinet of the Museum Plantin-Moretus has more than 20,000 drawings. This rich collection is among the finest in the world, and focuses on Antwerp artists from 1500 to the present.

Impressed by Plantin

Woodcut collection online

Explore the impressive collection of woodcuts in high resolution online. Sea creatures, richly illustrated letters and much more. A veritable treasure chest. Be impressed!


Collection online

Digitisation is central to the management of the Museum Plantin-Moretus’ extensive collection. Using the online search modules, you can search our digital databases. In this way, you can reserve books, documents, drawings or prints that you wish to consult in the reading room.

Collectie op reis

Elk jaar reizen werken van het museum naar musea over heel de wereld om tentoonstellingen te documenteren. Zo breidt het museum zijn netwerk uit en deelt het zijn expertise.

Traces in the city

The Plantin-Moretus family has left many traces behind in the city of Antwerp and outlying districts. Several streets have been named after members of the Moretus dynasty.

Impressive woodblocks

Woodblocks from the Plantin printing house

The Plantin-Moretus Museum keeps an extraordinary collection of 14,000 woodblocks. With these examples of true craftsmanship, book illustrations and other decorative elements were printed in the Plantin printing house.

Museum Plantin-Moretus

Unesco werelderfgoed

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