is a wax museum
in London; it has smaller museums in a number of other major cities. It was founded by wax
sculptor Marie Tussaud
. It used to be spelled as “Madame Tussaud’s”; the apostrophe is no longer used. Madame Tussauds is a major tourist attraction in London
, displaying the waxworks of famous and historical figures, as well as popular film and television characters from famous actors.
Marie Tussaud was born as Marie Grosholtz in 1761 in Strasbourg
, France. Her mother worked for Philippe Curtius
, Switzerland, who was a physician skilled in wax modeling. Curtius taught Tussaud the art of wax modeling beginning when she was a child. He moved to Paris and took his young apprentice, then only 6 years old, with him.
Grosholtz created her first wax sculpture
in 1777 of Voltaire
. At the age of 17, she became the art tutor to Madame Elizabeth, the sister of King Louis XVI
of France, at the Palace of Versailles
. During the French Revolution
, she was imprisoned for three months and awaiting execution but was released after the intervention of an influential friend. Other famous people whom she modeled included Jean-Jacques Rousseau
and Benjamin Franklin
. During the Revolution, she made models of many prominent victims. Grosholtz inherited Curtius’s vast collection of wax models following his death in 1794. For the next 33 years, she traveled around Europe with a touring show from the collection. She married Francois Tussaud in 1795 and took his surname. She renamed her show as Madame Tussaud’s. In 1802, she accepted an invitation from Paul Philidor
, a lantern
pioneer, to exhibit her work alongside his show at the Lyceum Theatre
, London. She did not fare particularly well financially, with Philidor taking half of her profits.
She was unable to return to France because of the Napoleonic Wars
, so she traveled throughout Great Britain and Ireland exhibiting
her collection. From 1831, she took a series of short leases on the upper floor of “Baker Street Bazaar” . This site was later featured in the Druce-Portland case
sequence of trials of 1898–1907. This became Tussaud’s first permanent home in 1836
By 1835, Marie Tussaud had settled down in Baker Street, London and opened a museum. One of the main attractions of her museum was the Chamber of Horrors
. The name is often credited to a contributor to Punch
in 1845, but Tussaud appears to have originated it herself, using it in advertising as early as 1843.
This part of the exhibition included victims of the French Revolution and newly created figures of murderers and other criminals. Other famous people were added, including Lord Nelson
and Sir Walter Scott
Some sculptures still exist that were made by Marie Tussaud herself. The gallery originally contained some 400 different figures, but fire damage in 1925, coupled with German bombs in 1941
, severely damaged most of such older models. The casts themselves have survived, allowing the historical waxworks to be remade, and these can be seen in the museum’s history exhibit. The oldest figure on display is that of Madame du Barry
, the work of Curtius from 1765 and part of the waxworks left to Grosholtz at his death. Other faces from the time of Tussaud include Robespierre
and George III
. In 1842, she made a self-portrait
, which is now on display at the entrance of her museum. She died in her sleep on 16 April 1850.
By 1883, the restricted space and rising cost of the Baker Street site prompted her grandson Joseph Randall to commission construction of a building at the museum’s current location on Marylebone Road. The new exhibition galleries were opened on 14 July 1884 and were a great success. But Randall had bought out his cousin Louisa’s half share in the business in 1881, and that plus the building costs resulted in his having too little capital. He formed a limited company in 1888 to attract fresh capital but it had to be dissolved after disagreements between the family shareholders. In February 1889 Tussaud’s was sold to a group of businessmen, led by Edwin Josiah Poyser.
The first wax sculpture of a young Winston Churchill was made in 1908; a total of ten have been made. The first overseas branch of Madame Tussauds was opened in Amsterdam in 1970.
In 2005, Madame Tussauds was sold to a company in Dubai, Dubai International Capital, for £800m (US$1.5bn). In May 2007 The Blackstone Group purchased The Tussauds Group from then-owner Dubai International Capital for US$1.9 billion; the company was merged with Blackstone’s Merlin Entertainments and operation of Madame Tussauds was taken over by Merlin. After the Tussauds acquisition, Dubai International Capital gained 20% of Merlin Entertainment. The Tussauds Group as a separate entity ceased to exist.
On 17 July 2007, as part of the financing for the Tussauds deal, Merlin sold the freehold of Madame Tussauds to private investor Nick Leslau and his investment firm Prestbury under a sale and leaseback agreement. Although the attraction sites are owned by Prestbury, they are operated by Merlin based on a renewable 35-year lease
Madame Tussaud’s wax museum became a major tourist attraction in London. Until 2010 it incorporated the London Planetarium in its west wing. A large animated dark ride, The Spirit of London, opened in 1993. Today’s wax figures at Tussauds include historical and royal figures, film stars, sports stars, and famous murderers. It has been known since 2007 as “Madame Tussauds” museums (no apostrophe).
In July 2008, Madame Tussauds’ Berlin branch became embroiled in controversy when a 41-year-old German man brushed past two guards and decapitated a wax figure depicting Adolf Hitler. This was believed to be an act of protest against showing the ruthless dictator alongside sports heroes, movie stars, and other historical figures. The statue has since been repaired, and the perpetrator has admitted that he attacked the statue to win a bet. The original model of Hitler was unveiled in Madame Tussauds London in April 1933; it was frequently vandalized and a 1936 replacement had to be carefully guarded. In January 2016, the statue of Adolf Hitler was removed from the London museum in response to an open letter sent by a staff writer of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, followed by significant support for its removal from social media.
The first Madame Tussauds in India opened in New Delhi on 1 December 2017. Its operator, Merlin Entertainments, planned an investment of 50 million pounds over the next 10 years.It features over 50 wax models, including political and entertainment figures such as Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sachin Tendulkar, Kim Kardashian, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Asha Bhosle, Kapil Dev, and Mary Kom.
Ever since it first opened in 1835, Madame Tussauds has been leaving visitors excited and star-struck with the wide array of A-list celebrities featured in the wax museum. After seeing Kate Winslet, Daniel Craig, and Kim Kardashian up-close and personal or sitting and having a picture taken with Her Majesty the Queen, it’s no wonder that Madame Tussauds is still hailed as a favorite tourist destination in London. But, did you know that there are many tedious processes that the wax figures go through before they are displayed in all their perfection?
Young Marie’s first sculpture was Francois Voltaire. She made it at the tender age of 16. During the French Revolution, Madame Tussauds was imprisoned. During this time, she made death masks of executed nobles.
It takes six months, more than 250 precise measurements and photographs, 2,400 lbs of wax and $45,000 to make each of Madame Tussaud’s wax portraits.
Each subject is invited for seating to be able to get the right body measurements. However, if the subject is a historical figure or has already passed away, a team of researchers will check and dig on hundreds of pictures and get the measurements from there.
All portraits displayed in Madame Tussauds have their hair washed and make-up retouched regularly.
There are two maintenance teams that check each figure daily before the museum opens. Tussauds suffered a fire in 1925 and many statues were lost. Fortunately, all the molds remained intact and several pieces were recreated.
Madame Tussauds was hit by a bomb in 1940 during WWII – the bomb destroyed over 350 head molds, and devastated a cinema which was part of the museum at the time. The first overseas branch of Madame Tussauds is in Amsterdam. It opened in 1970.
There are currently 21 Madame Tussauds worldwide, including six in the USA and museums in Beijing, Tokyo and Sydney, Australia.
Madame Tussauds appeared in TV shows and movies like an episode of Living TV’s paranormal program Most Haunted and is featured in Jackie Chan’s film, Shanghai Knights.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum was founded by Marie Tussaud, a native of Strasbourg, France. She learned the art of sculpting from her mother’s employer, Dr. Philippe Curtius, a physician skilled in the art of wax modeling.
During the French Revolution, Madame Tussauds was imprisoned. During this time, she made death masks of executed nobles.
Tussauds suffered a fire in 1925 and many statues were lost. Fortunately, all the molds remained intact and several pieces were recreated.
London’s Madame Tussauds has branched out to different countries and cities like Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin, Blackpool, Hollywood, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, New York
, Shanghai, Washington
, and Vienna.
Madame Tussauds Museum in London was the first museum that was opened in London in 1884, Madame Tussauds Museum displays worldwide celebrities made out of wax, making it the most famous wax museum due to its quality and innovation.
The sculptor Marie Tussaud organized her first wax exhibition in London in 1835, charging six pennies for the admissions ticket. It became a huge success, and in 1884 the museum was moved to the building that currently houses the wax figures.
The museum houses quite different exhibitions divided into several categories. These are some of our favorite parts.
The quality of the wax figures is indisputable, all designed with great detail, compared to other wax museums.
In spite of being expensive, Madame Tussauds is one of the most-visited museums in London and in all over the world and it is always brimming with visitors at all hours of the day. To avoid the crowds we recommend getting there as soon as possible or at lunchtime. You can have fun there and spend a wonderful time as
You can have fun, spend a wonderful time and take great photos in Madame Tussauds Musem as Madame Tussauds attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Madame Tussaud is more than just a catchy name. She was, in fact, a real person whose birth name was Anna Maria Grosholtz who has done many great things for us, for humanity. Moreover, Madame Tussaud was the first in the whole world who created incredible life-like wax figures of some of the world’s most prominent figures.
Madame Tussauds Amsterdam
A popular tourist attraction, Madame Tussauds is located at the Dam square
, above Peek & Clopenburg department store. More an attractive ride in an indoor amusement park, then an old fashioned wax figures cabinet, Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam has been modernized, equipped with multimedia effects, set to employ actors and extras and like any amusement park it addresses itself mainly to children and teenage visitors.
Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museums were built in all over the world where you can see and take great pictures with royalty and celebrities from both world-class and ‘regular’ dutchies. The museum is a lot of fun to walk around, spend a wonderful time there, take pictures and a good way of spending a morning/afternoon. If you like theme parks and musea this will be your cup of tea!
The Amsterdam museum is divided into four sections: Sports, Royals, A-List and Culture/Arts. Within each section, tourists will find some of the most well-known figures in history, entertainment and the world of sports. Famous statues include David Beckham, Lady Gaga, Johnny Depp, Queen Beatrix, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Einstein.
History of Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussaud was a real person, Anna Maria Grosholtz (1761–1850). Born in Strasbourg, France, she moved to Switzerland, where she served as a housekeeper to a physician in Bern. Making a wax mask of a dead person or casting a model or celebrity’s hand was at the time one of the few ways of preserving the person’s image for future generations and it has been a physician’s job. Taught by her master and skilled herself in waxworks, the young woman moved to Paris, married François Tussaud and witnessed the violence of the French Revolution of years 1789 – 1799. The story goes, that she made hundreds of death masks and head sculptures of executed aristocrats, often pulling more interesting head from the pile of hundreds of decapitated bodies. Tussaud lived later in London and when she died, her collection counted 400 figures. The first Tussaud’s cabinet of wax figures opened in London at Baker Street in 1835. It included the “Chamber of Horrors” showing figures of victims of the French Revolution and famous criminals, already caught and hanged. Seriously damaged by fires of 1921 and 1941, during the Blitz – WWII German bombings of London, when many valuable figures at the Tussauds just melted, the collection has been rebuilt and today is owned by British amusement parks operator Merlin Entertainment. Madame Tussauds exhibits exist in several major world cities
Madame Tussauds amusement gallery
Peek & Clopenburg building which houses Tussauds corresponds in its architecture with the nearby Royal Palace. An enormous roof has been added on the top of the building, to accommodate Claas Janszoon – the world’s largest animatronics’ wax figure, 5 meters (18 feet) tall, greeting you at the very beginning of your visit. While the Madame Tussaud’s cashiers are located on the street level, two big elevators bring visitors to the upper floors of the building. During your visit, you will slowly walk down, ending for the last two floors on a small, grey staircase.
The show tries to shake off the morbid feeling of a traditional wax figure cabinet, using multimedia and animatronics. Most of the wax figures at Madame Tussauds was made taller and prettier than people they were supposed to represent. Hence you will see very tall Elisabeth Taylor, while she was a petite woman of 1.57 m, slim Albert Einstein looking like a pop singer and other celebrities – all thinner and taller, probably to make them stand out from the visiting crowd. Time and again you will have to check their names to learn, whom you are supposed to see. Celebrities will impress most of teenagers, especially so-called Pop Idols Experience and Models Zone. There is even a possibility to dress like Michael Jackson and have your photo taken. Nevertheless – the grown-up visitors of Tussauds might feel let down.
The Dutch Golden Age attraction is impressive, but further you move into the Madame Tussauds Scenerama, it gets less appealing and rather tacky. The feel is mixed, but if you liked Disneyland or another amusement park of this kind – do not miss it, especially if you travel with children. A spectacular view from the round window at the top of the building on Dam, direction Central Station. Overall a visit to Madame Tussauds is also a great photo opportunity.
Madame Tussauds Museum in New York
If you want to see famous people in New York, then Madame Tussauds Museum in New York is your deal. Madame Tussauds is a wax museum with life-size wax figures of the most well-known past and contemporary American and international celebrities.
Marie Grosholtz was born in France in 1761. She learned to model wax, with Dr. Philippe Curtius in Paris. In 1765, the French Court asked her to make the Marie-Jeanne du Barry wax sculpture, a Louis XV lover. Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Benjamin Franklin… were other personalities was-modeled by Mme Tussauds. Her first exhibition was in 1770.
In 1975, she married François Tussauds, had 2 kids and decided to live in London to present her wax sculptures collection.
Few years later, she choose London as her home and opened the “Baker Street Bazar” museum in Baker Street. Her museum attracted curious, to discover among others, the Horror Room, presenting the victims of the French Revolution.
After Marie Tussauds passed away in 1850, at the age of 89, the museum moved to its actual address in London, in Marylebone Road.
In 1970 and Mme Tussauds opened Amsterdam, and now has locations in Las Vegas (1998), in New York (2000) and in Hong Kong (2000).
All the museums are called Madame Tussauds, in her memory.
Today the firm is owned by the Merlin Entertainment Group and locations all over the world:
-Europe: Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, Blackpool.
-USA: NYC, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Hollywood, and San Francisco.
-Asia: Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bangkok and Shanghai.
Madame Tussauds London
Millions and millions of people have flocked through the doors of Madame Tussauds since they first opened over 200 years ago and it remains just as popular as it ever was. There are many reasons for this enduring success, but at the heart of it all is good old-fashioned curiosity. Today’s visitors are sent on a unique, emotionally-charged journey through the realms of the powerful and famous. The museum-style ropes and poles have gone so guests can truly get up, close and personal with A-list celebrities, sporting legends, political heavyweights and historical icons, reliving the times, events and moments that made the world talk about them…
The attraction’s history is a rich and fascinating one, with roots dating back to the Paris of 1770. It was here that Madame Tussaud learned to model wax likenesses under the tutelage of her mentor, Dr. Philippe Curtius. At the age of 17, she became art tutor to King Louis XVI’s sister at the Palace Of Versailles and then, during the French Revolution, was hastily forced to prove her allegiance to the feudalistic nobles by making the death masks of executed aristocrats. Madame Tussaud came to Britain in the early 19th century alongside a traveling exhibition of revolutionary relics and effigies of public heroes and rogues.
At a time when the news was communicated largely by word of mouth, Madame Tussauds’ exhibition was a kind of traveling newspaper, providing insight into global events and bringing the ordinary public face-to-face with the people in the headlines. Priceless artifacts from the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars brought to vividly life events in Europe which had a direct bearing on everyday lives. Figures of leading statesmen and, in the Chamber of Horrors, notorious villains put faces to the names on everyone’s lips and captured the public imagination. In 1835, Madame Tussauds’ exhibition established a permanent base in London as the Baker Street Bazaar – visitors paid ‘sixpence’ for the chance to meet the biggest names of the day. The attraction moved to its present site in Marylebone Road comes in 1884.
Tussaud and her successors have fashioned literally thousands of replicas of famous people. Visitors can view world leaders, actors/actresses, sports legends, famous writers and artists, religious figures, musicians, and a host of other characters. Besides those displays there are also several themed sections in the museum including the Chamber of Horrors and a taxi ride for a journey through history.
While the London museum has a decidedly British slant, visitors from all over the world will recognize a majority of the characters.
Today the wax museum is one of London’s busiest attractions and during peak tourist season, it is common to encounter long lines that stretch for blocks. The museum started an overseas expansion in 1970 when it opened a branch location in Amsterdam
. Today it has expanded to many more cities including Las Vegas, New York City
, Hong Kong
, Washington DC
, and Hollywood.
In 1795 Marie married François Tussaud, but she left him in 1802 so she could tour around Britain with her collection of death masks. The gruesome roadshow included the death masks of the French king Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antoinette. Tussaud’s collection affirmed the disdain of the British audience for France’s bloodthirsty revolutionaries and was a big hit. Marie Tussaud never returned to France.
In 1835, after more than thirty years touring the country, she created a permanent exhibit on Baker Street. There was a surcharge for the famous Chamber of Horrors, a separate chamber with the most horrifying displays of criminals and victims of the French Revolution. In the meantime, Marie Tussaud added many likenesses to her collection.
In 1884, several decades after her death, Madame Tussaud’s wax museum moved to its current location on London’s Marylebone Road, where millions have stood in queue for hours to get a glimpse at her work and that of her successors.
The current museum suffered a fire in 1925 and many statues were lost. However, the molds remained intact and several of the pieces were recreated. Unfortunately, hundreds of molds were destroyed during the Blitz at the start of the Second World War. Ironically one of the surviving masks is that of Hitler, which was created in 1933.
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