Exploring UNESCO Heritage Listed sites is great for a few reasons. One of those reasons is that every now and then you come across a sight you had never heard of but which is so much fun to visit. That happened to me in April when I visited Antwerp for a day with a friend. Together we explored the Plantin-Moretus Museum.
The Plantin-Moretus Museum
What’s in a name? I had never heard of Plantin or Moretus, but when I found out that this used to be the house of a family owning a booming printing press business I became carefully excited. Carefully, because I’m not the biggest fan of museums, and I still had not idea what to expect. Excited because I have an English Literature degree, and I love books.
The house is located in the middle of Antwerp on the Vrijdagmarkt. What a great location this must have been to have lived in the past. Christophe Plantin spent his life among books. Together with his wife and five daughters, he lived in this imposing property, which can be visited in full today. When you walk through the building you will learn all about his family & his family life.
In 1555, Plantin released his first book. In less than twenty years, his publishing house became the biggest and best in Europe. In the museum you can admire the oldest printing presses in the world and in the library, you will find manuscripts and original prints.
Normally I prefer to visit museum with tours, in order to learn as much as possible. In the case of the Plantin-Moretus Museum, a tour is not necessary. At the start they hand out really handy booklets with numbers corresponding to the rooms which explain what you are looking at. The explanations are fun to read, and even though they sometimes fill out an entire page. It never feels like a chore. You know how you sometimes stop reading signs in museums out of boredom, I can guarantee you that won’t happen here.
I liked my photo diary of the Hermitage, so I’m going to continue this series. I hope you enjoy the photos, and don’t miss out on this museum when you’re in Antwerp!
Website: Plantin-Moretus Museum
Entrance fee: 8 euro
Opening times: The museum is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm; closed on Mondays.