Plantin-Moretus Museum – Antwerp

Plantin Press Room

One of the highlights in Antwerp was the Plantin-Moretus Museum housed in the former home and print shop, which was in operation for over 300 years starting in about 1576.  The whole complex is very nicely kept up, and visitors have access to over thirty rooms in a variety of linked buildings that surround a lovely courtyard.

Plantin Table

One of the reasons for the long-lasting success of the company was that the founder Christoffel Plantin decided that the whole thing would be handed over to the descendant most competent to run it, regardless of birth order.  Since Plantin only had daughters, the name Moretus came into the picture as the second chief, followed by many in the Moretus line.  Plantin was the official printer in the area for the Spanish king, and grew quite wealthy.

Plantin Bed

In the museum is an amazing book collection, including most everything the company ever did, along with treasures such as one of the earliest bibles (the so-called 36-line bible printed with Gutenberg’s type, but by another printer).

Plantin Courtyard

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