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.
The making of a Star
It's 1761 in Strasbourg. Madame Tussaud HERSELF is born as Marie Grosholtz. That's right. The REAL woman.
Marie models the famous author and philosopher, Francois Voltaire. What a legend!
Marie finds her passion for art at a young age. In fact, she becomes an art tutor for the sister of French King Louis XVI and goes to live at the Royal Court in Versailles! #Goals
On the eve of The French Revolution, Marie returns to Paris.
During the French Revolution, Marie is imprisoned – GASP! However, she is quickly released to make death masks of executed nobles. She does this to prove her allegiance to the Revolution. (How gruesome!)
The French Revolution ends and Marie inherits Dr Philippe Curtius’ wax exhibition.
She marries Francois Tussaud. (Thanks for the legendary last name, Francois!)
Bringing history to Britain
Madame Tussaud leaves her husband behind in 1802 (sorry, Francois). She takes her wax exhibition and relics from the French Revolution to Britain.
With her sons, Madame Tussaud establishes a base in London at ‘The Baker Street Bazaar.’
Punch Magazine coins the name Chamber Of Horrors for Madame Tussaud’s ‘Separate Room’, where gruesome relics of the French Revolution are displayed.
Madame Tussaud dies.
A historic attraction is born
Marie’s grandsons move the attraction to its current site on Marylebone Road.
The attraction is devastated by fire. Sad times.
Restoration is completed with the addition of a cinema and restaurant.
Madame Tussauds is struck by a German World War II bomb destroying 352 head moulds, and the cinema Oh no!
Attractions around the world
The second European Madame Tussauds attraction opens in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Woohoo!
The first American Madame Tussauds opens in Las Vegas. (Woop woop! Vegas baby!!)
The second American Madame Tussauds attraction opens in New York, and the same year Madame Tussauds opens in Hong Kong.
Madame Tussauds opens in Shanghai.
The third American attraction opens in Washington DC.
The third European site becomes Berlin, where the attraction opens in ‘Unter den Linden’.
The fourth American site makes its way to Hollywood.
Madame Tussauds Bangkok opens in December - the THIRD attraction in Asia!
Vienna (Austria) and Blackpool (UK) both open in April 2011 - the global count is now up to TWELVE attractions!
Celebrating 250 Years! Yaaasss!
The next 250 years
G'day! Madame Tussauds arrives Down Under in Sydney.
Madame Tussauds attractions open in Tokyo and Wuhan.
The fifth US attraction opens in San Francisco, California, and China’s third attraction opens in Beijing.