Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is the name of several wax museums around the world. You can come face to face with the world’s most famous people.

History

Marie Tussaud

Marie Tussaud was born in Strasbourg (France) on December 1, 1761. In 1770 she apprenticed with doctor Curtios, who made wax figures to illustrate anatomical lessons. IN 1778, Marie made her first wax figure at the age of 17, that of the famous writer and philosopher Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire. During the French Revolution of 1789, Marie Tussaud was commissioned to immortalize the heads of the guillotine victims in wax so that they could later be exhibited in the Revolution Museum. In 1794, after the death of doctor Curtius, Marie inherited his entire collection of wax figures. In 1795, Marie married François Tussaud, a French soldier. They have three children; a daughter (who died shortly after birth), and two sons (Joseph and François). In 1802 she left for London with her eldest son, Joseph, to exhibit her wax figures. However, when the Franco-English war broke out, she was unable to return to France. That is why she traveled through Great Britain and Ireland with her collection of wax figures. After the war (1817) her second son also came to England, where she opened her first museum in Baker Street in 1835. Together with her two sons, she continued the museum until she died in her sleep in 1850.

Abroad

In 1884, Tussaud’s grandson, Joseph Randall, moved the wax collection to its current location on Marylebone Road. Since 1971, Madame Tussauds branches have also been opened outside England. The first museum outside England opened in Amsterdam. Museums are currently also open in New York, Las Vegas, Washington, Hollywood, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Vienna, Blackpool, Busan and Berlin.

Merlin Entertainments Group

In May 2007, all Madame Tussauds museums were taken over by the Merlin Entertainments Group, which also owns Legoland and Sea Life.

Fun facts

  • In 1842, Marie Tussaud made a self-portrait, which can still be seen at the entrance to the museum in London.
  • One of the main attractions at Madame Tussauds museum is The Chamber of Horrors, which features victims of the French Revolution, murderers and criminals. The Chamber of Horrors is a dark room where real actors walk around. Pregnant women, people with heart problems and children under the age of twelve are not allowed inside.
  • The wax statues are exact, life-size wax replicas of famous people. Some images are placed in such a way that you can take nice pictures with them. For example, you can dine with George Clooney, make music with Tiësto, play football with Ronaldinho…
  • The name Madame Tussauds means ‘of Madame Tussaud’. Many people think that the name of the museum is Madame Tussaud, which is not the same.
  • Well-known serial killer John Haigh, who was responsible for the murders of six people, has donated his favorite pair of socks and his best costume to The Chamber of Horrors after his arrest. A few days before his arrest, as a big fan, he went to Madame Tussauds to admire The Chamber of Horrors.
  • There are several false teeth and even a false leg left behind by visitors. Underpants have even been found in the pocket of Mel Gibson’s wax figure.
  • All the wax figures have real human hair. Their hair is therefore regularly washed and styled.
  • In 1925, a fire broke out at Madame Tussauds in London. In 1931 the site was hit by an earthquake and in 1940 a bomb landed near the museum, destroying many of the wax figures.
  • A young Parisian once stuck his head in Marie Antoinette’s guillotine. Unfortunately, he got stuck in it and it took hours for the rest of the museum’s visitors to realize that the man was not an actor.

 

Opening hours and prices

For opening hours and prices for a Madame Tussauds museum of your choice, please visit the Madame Tussauds website.

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