The museum

Walk inside the printing office and house of the Plantin-Moretus family as if you were a friend of theirs visiting 400 years ago. Enter the world of the influential Plantin and Moretus family. Christophe Plantin spent his life among books. Together with his wife and five daughters, he lived in an imposing property on Vrijdagmarkt. Plantin and Jan Moretus built up an impressive printing business. Today, this is the only museum in the world to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  • Where time has stood still. Step inside the house and the printing works and walk straight into the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s as though Christophe Plantin has just closed the door behind him.
  • Enjoy the splendours of yesterhear. Gilded leather on the walls, portraits of Peter Paul Rubens, an impressive library… The family Plantin-Moretus were prosperous, and lived in a veritable mansion.
  • Unique printing press. The two oldest printing presses in the world and more than 20.000 lead letters, an impressive collection.
  • Books, books, books. Christoffel Plantin collected books. Today, the collection has an incredible 30.000 old books, illustrated manuscripts and other treasures of European printing.
  • A green spot in the middle of the city. The courtyard and garden were already a tourist attraction in Plantin's day. Listen to the silence in the garden and discover popular plants from the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • The old bookshop. With its counter and cabinets, the shop is still fully equipped for book-selling, right down to the scales for checking the weight of silver and gold coins.
  • Immerse yourself in the printing trade. Put on a printer’s apron and get to work. Make a bookmark with a blind stamp, fold a section of a book and typeset your name in mirror image.
  • Leafing through replica's of old books. Some of the museum rooms have copies of famous publications of Plantin. Page through the herbal book of Dodoens, the pentaligual bible, an Ortelius atlas,…
  • Audio play. New three-dimensional audiotechniques bring the museum's story to life. An ancient house has plenty of stories to tell!
  • UNESCO World Heritage. Museum Plantin-Moretus is the only museum in the world on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Come and visit the house and business of Plantin and the Moretus family. All you need to plan your museum visit can be found here.

1. Practical information about opening times, ticket sales, how to get to the Museum and accessibility.

2. Finding your way round the museum.

3. What is there to see?

4. In our reading room you can consult numerous authentic documents. You will find a precious archive of printed works, manuscripts and drawings.

5. What is there to do? Young and old, type freaks and bookworms alike will all enjoy the guided tours, exhibitions and workshops here.

6. If you’re looking for something special to buy, you’ll find it in our Museum Shop.