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 Compass’) 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.
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.
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.
The Museum’s temporary exhibitions focus on a succession of different themes. Specific aspects of the house, the Plantin-Moretus family, the output of the Officina Plantiniana... you can learn more about each of these subjects. The Print Cabinet also brings different works out of its storage depot every three months.