Skip to main content
foto: Ans Brys

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.

A building's 400-year history

Christophe Plantin’s house and workshop have been transformed several times in the course of more than 400 years. Find out here how the Officina Plantiniana metamorphosed into the Museum Plantin-Moretus.

De oude drukkerij met links de letterkasten en rechts de drukpersen

The printing works

The printing works is the heart of the Plantin mansion. It contains the two oldest printing presses in the world, dating from around 1600. The six other presses are still in working order. Discover the workflow of a 16th-century printing works here.

The Great Library

The Great Library is arranged like a well-stocked private library of the 17th century. It was founded by Christophe Plantin and expanded by Balthasar I and his successors. The curators of the Museum Plantin-Moretus have expanded the collection of Officina Plantiniana editions.

jongeren schetsen in de binnentuin van Museum Plantin-Moretus

The garden

Together with the attractive building, the courtyard had already turned his home into a tourist attraction in Plantin’s own time. Kings, princes and prominent figures came to visit. In the garden you can see and smell popular plants from the 16th and 17th centuries.

The shop

With its counter and cabinets, this shop is still fully furnished for the sale of books – right down to the money scales for checking silver and gold coins. The bookshop was moved here from Kammenstraat by Balthasar I Moretus in 1639.

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!

Museum Plantin-Moretus

Unesco werelderfgoed

Slogan icons

Subscribe to our newsletter