Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex, Belgium






Plantin-Moretus Museum is a printing plant and publishing house from the Renaissance and Baroque periods that was turned into a museum in the late 19th century. Located in Antwerp, Belgium, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Originally submitted as Plantin-Moretus Museum, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee changed the name of the inscription to Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex, celebrating it for having played a significant role in 16th century European humanism, as an outstanding showcase of the relationship between the living environment of the family during the 16th, 17th and 18th century, with the world of work and the world of commerce, and for its tangible association with ideas, beliefs, technologies and literary and artistic works of outstanding universal significance.

Photos of Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex

Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp, Belgium
Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp, Belgium
Author: Klaus Graf (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)

Printing press, Plantin-Moretus Museum
Printing press, Plantin-Moretus Museum
Author: Riopelle (public domain)

Library, Plantin-Moretus Museum
Library, Plantin-Moretus Museum
Author: Meltwaterfalls (public domain)

What to See in Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex

History of the Plantin-Moretus Museum

The history of Plantin-Moretus Museum goes back to around 1549, when Christoffel Plantin, a bookbinder, began his printing business called De Gulden Passer (The Golden Compass). In 1576, he relocated his business to Vridagmarkt Square, which is today the oldest part of the Plantin-Moretus Museum.

Jan I Moretus (1543-1610) is Plantin's son-in-law. He took over the business when it was going through a difficult time, but managed to ride through the crisis. He made a name for printing the so-called Moerentorf Bible, which became the official Catholic Bible in use until the 18th century. Moretus also printed dictionaries and other publications.

The printing firm remained in the Moretus family until 1876, when Edward Moretus sold it to the city of Antwerp. The following year, the printing offices and living quarters were opened to the public as the Plantin-Moretus Museum. The museum, under its first curator Max Rooses began what wast to become a substantial collection of old prints.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 51 13 06.0 E 4 23 52.0
Inscription Year: 2005
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, III, IV, VI

Location Map


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Visiting Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex

Your base for visiting this World Heritage Site is Antwerp (or Antwerpen in Dutch and Anvers in French). You can contact the museum at:

Museum Plantin-Moretus
Vrijdagmarkt 22
2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Tel: +32 03 221 14 50 Email: museum.plantin.moretus@stad.antwerpen.be

Getting In

Antwerp Airport (ANR) receives flights from a few airlines including CityJet from London, Liverpool, Jersey and Manchester. Alternatively fly to Brussels or Amsterdam and connect to Antwerp by train. There is a train going from Brussel's Naitonal Airport Zaventem to Antwerp. Journey takes 1 hour 50 minutes and booking can be done through the Belgian Railway website.

Book Hotel Rooms in Belgium and Worldwide

Click here also for a full list of hotels in Belgium or hotels worldwide. If you prefer budget accommodation in hostels, guesthouses or inns, check out hostels worldwide for budget accommodation providers with online booking.


Local Tours of Belgium

Here are some local tours of Belgium that you may want to include to your itinerary. They save you time and cost of doing it yourself. These tours are arranged by Viator, one of the most reputable tour agencies in the market.

Return to Belgium's World Heritage Sites
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