The Plantin-Moretus Museum, located at the Vrijdagmarkt in Antwerp, Belgium, is one of the prime pilgrimage sites for typeheads. It is is the only Renaissance printing office that has survived to the present. It houses some of he world’s oldest surviving printing presses as well as complete sets of early dies and matrices. And it houses an excellent library.
Christoffel Plantin (1520-1589) established himself in Antwerp around 1549 and soon set up a business as a printer. Among his famous projects was a Biblia Polyglotta (Bible in five languages. By 1575 the business had seventy employees. After his death the business passed to his son-in-law Jan I Moretus (1543-1610) and remained in the hands of the Moretus family for centuries. In 1876 the firm and its contents were sold to the city of Antwerp and the Plantin-Moretus Museum was born. In 2005, the museum became the first museum to be listed on the UNESCO World heritage site.
These images were taken in 2004. I’ve done what I can with the them but the camera I had with me at that time was not really up to the conditions in which these photographs were made.