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Ever since it first opened on 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 favourite 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? And, I bet there are still a lot of things you don’t know about Madame Tussauds. So just sit back and relax and let us take you through the most surprising facts of Madame Tussauds.
- Madame Tussauds Wax Museum was founded by Marie Tussaud, a native of Strasbourgh, France. She learned the art of sculpting from her mother’s employer, Dr. Philippe Curtius, a physician skilled in the art of wax modeling.
- 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 a 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 moulds remained intact and several pieces were recreated.
- Madame Tussauds was hit by a bomb in 1940 during WWII – the bomb destroyed over 350 head moulds, 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 programme Most Haunted and is featured in Jackie Chan’s film, Shanghai Knights.
Where is it? Madame Tussauds, Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5LR
Closest Tube? Baker Street and Regent’s Park
Opening Times? Monday – Friday: 9,30am – 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 6pm
To get a discount for Madame Tussauds or for faster entry to the celebrated museum, be sure to purchase your Madame Tussauds tickets online in advance.
Take a picture, plenty of selfies and savour every moment with your favourite celebrities and icons at Madame Tussauds. If you missed visiting the notable wax museum, be sure to include it in your itinerary on your next trip: it’s definitely worth every penny you’ll spend.
Check out our recommendations on the 10 best things to see when you’re there.
Who would you want to see as a wax figure?