Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
April 8, 2004
The main drawing room features portraits, some by the ever-present Peter Paul Rubens. As one walks through the historic rooms, you can appreciate the period furniture and wall surfaces along with the historic manuscripts on display under glass cover. The print shop, proofreading room and offices are because of their functions not quite as lavishly decorated, but they have a certain learned atmosphere thanks to interesting displays of old books, prints, and well-preserved equipment. Look for the displays of the Biblia Regia and the Gutenberg Bible. The former was perhaps Plantin’s finest printing achievement, as it consisted of eight volumes and was printed in five languages (Hebrew, Syrian, Greek, Latin and Aramaic). The museum’s priceless copy of the Gutenberg Bible is one of only 13 still in existence.
Other displays of books and documents may be a bit dry except to the most erudite academics, but it is always fascinating to see maps of the old world and how they differ from the current reality. The Rubens collections here include letters, title page designs, book illustrations, prints and drawings by him or related to his visions.
The bookcases that line the walls of the libraries shelve over 25,000 rare books. The second floor houses the type foundry and displays of metal printing types. Take a peek in the peacefully typical Flemish-style inner courtyard, decorated with busts of the family and with leaded stained glass windows.
From journal Bill in Belgium - ANTWERP
June 20, 2003
I wish there were an audio guide to this museum, but there isn’t. The rooms are numbered, and you get a small paper guide to help you locate the most important items in each room. You get to visit over 30 items. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to photograph the inside of the house.
Room 1 is hung with Flemish tapestries and a Rubens’ painting The Lion Hunt. The fireplace is lined with wonderful mulberry tiles, and there is a case of Chinese porcelains.
Room 2 has 10 portraits, some by Rubens and some by his school. These are all family members. There is a beautiful art cabinet made of rosewood, ebony, and tortoiseshell near the fireplace
Room 3 has two volumes of the Bible that belonged to King Wenceslas and a copy of the Froissart Chronicles. A beautifully illustrated Book of Hours, however, was my favorite piece in the room.
I am not going to list the contents of each room, but there was not a boring one among them. You have a fair share of both family rooms and all the rooms of the printing business. You visit the offices, workrooms, and the foundry, but more than that, you see examples of the finest printing techniques from as early as the 15th century.
The geography room was absolutely one of my favorites. There is a globe on a stand, but also some very early maps. I had a very hard time dragging myself away. I was fascinated at how accurate the early drawings were, especially of the East Coast of the United States. In addition, a map of Antwerp from 1565 shows even where the houses were. As a genealogist, I was intrigued. You could literally locate your ancestor’s home if they lived in Antwerp.
Allow yourself at least 1.5 hours to visit this museum. It takes quite a while to read the little descriptive cards in all the rooms. They do not have much of a gift shop.
Open: 10am to 5pm
Admission: Adult-4€; Senior-2€
From journal Antwerp-The Flemish Gem
September 2, 2002
From journal Lifetime is not enough to discover
September 1, 2002
The house, store and printing rooms are now turned in to a magnificent museum.
There is possiblity to rent an audiophone and to view an introduction movie. If you want it in a different language then Flemish, you ought to ask at the desk to adjust the language.
Click here for the official website.
Very secretly however the Moretus family did print so called "anti-catholic" pamphlets or papers.
It was a hard time to survive in the way of not getting caught, imprisoned or worse: executed.