Strolling through a busy town


Christopher Plantin: a man with a plan

In the middle of the 16th century a Frenchman came to Antwerp. His name: Christopher Plantin. Already some 80 printers were established in the city, nevertheless he grew out to be the most important printer and publisher of his time. What started as a craft grew out to be an industrial company that produced books for the whole of the world. He was unparalleled in understanding he had to print what the audience demanded, if necessary in languages that use completely different typefaces.

His story is one with high peaks and deep cliffs, the result of the turbulent times in which he lived and worked. His motto ‘through labour and steadfastness’ was well chosen: after each crisis he succeeded in having his print shop resurface.

Did you know that Plantin published the very first dictionary of Dutch? Quite an accomplishment for someone whose origins lay in France.

Join us in the footsteps of a giant

Come along and listen to the wonderful story of this man who made it from zero to hero.

Discover why authors insisted on him printing and publishing their work and why his daughters played an important part in the success of the company. On the road you’ll learn about typefaces, ink and paper and why books are so important, both in Plantin’s days and today.

We start our walk on Handschoenmarkt, in the shadow of the cathedral, next to the sculpture of Nello and Patrache and finish in the inner court of Plantin’s printshop at Vrijdagmarkt. The tour costs € 15 per person with a minimum of € 150.

The basic tour (2 hours) costs € 14 per person, with a minimun of € 140. Groups of more than 20 are spread over different guides. For an extra hour € 5 p.p. is added.

Fancy More?

Why not visit the Museum?

A La Carte

Would you like more information? Do you want to eat something with the group before or after the tour?

We’d gladly work out a suggestion for you.