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  ANTWERP : The Plantin-Moretus Museum
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Moretus Plantin
Balthasar Moretus Christoffel Plantin

Christoffel Plantijn originally came from St. Avertin in France. Hence the French spelling in the name of the museum. He first set up shop in Antwerp as a bookbinder and leather worker around 1548, but switched to the printing trade in 1555. He moved into his building in 1576 and called it ‘De Gulden Passer’, meaning The Golden Compass. The compass was his logo and a symbol of his motto ‘labore et constantia’ (work and tenacity). He extended De Gulden Passer and at the same time had a great deal of building and conversion work carried out, but the drukkeriD.jpg (16014 bytes)museum as it is today is mainly the result of improvements carried out by Plantijn’s grandson and most important successor, Balthasar I Moretus, in the seventeenth century.
The ‘Officina Plantiniana’ was the most famous printing works in Europe and centre of humanism and learning. Justus Lipsius even had his own study here. That fame rose to even greater heights under Balthasar Moretus and his close cooperation with Rubens as illustrator.

The printing works are still in a fairly authentic state. The museum also shows the whole book production process as it was in the old days and an enormous collection of books, printed or collected by Plantijn and the Moretusses. Moreover, visitors can admire the original interior of the patrician house : antique furniture, tapestries, damask coverings and gilded leather walls, works by Rubens, Quellin, Van Mildert, Verbrugghen, etc. The eighteenth-century east wing houses a room devoted to the poet Emile Verhaeren. The City Print Gallery also belongs to the museum.

bijbel.jpg (45380 bytes)

Detail from the multilingual Bible (Hebrew, Greek, Latin) published by Chr. Plantin in 1568-1572
(All images courtesy of  'Het Stedelijk Prentenkabinet van Antwerpen')

Location
Vrijdagmarkt 22  - 2000 Antwerp

Opening Hours
Every day from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed on Mondays and on November 1st and 2nd, December 25th and 26th, and January 1st and 2nd.


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