Madame Tussauds - London
Madame Tussauds waxwork museum has always been a premier London attraction and UK attraction ever since it opened its doors way back in 1836. Despite, the addition of contemporary pop and TV stars, such as Amy Winehouse and Zac Effron, Madame Tussauds maintains an air of the macabre – a fact that has no doubt added to this London attraction’s cache.
Marie Tussaud (1761 – 1850) was a born in Strasbourg, France. Her father was a physician, who by necessity of his trade was skilled in the art of wax modelling. Not content to keep this skill within the confines of his work, Marie’s father, Curtius Tussaud, made waxwork figures which he exhibited to the public. A cast of the mould for his figurine of Marie-Jeanne du Barry, the mistress of Louis XV, is the oldest exhibit on display at Madame Tussauds in London.
Curtius died in 1794, bequeathing his waxwork collection to Marie, who travelled to England with it, exhibiting it throughout the country until Madame Tussaud and her eponymous collection settled in what was to become the exhibition’s first permanent home in Baker Street, London.
One of the main draws for an inquisitive public was the Chamber of Horrors – a gruesome collection comprised chiefly of models of the heads of guillotined victims of the French Revolution. Marie had collected death masks from the decapitated victims. The Chamber of Horrors also contained waxworks of infamous figures of the time including murderers and criminals.
The famous soon began to find their place alongside the waxworks of the infamous – English national hero, Vice-Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott were added to the collection. Some of the waxworks by Marie Tussaud are still on show today, including a ‘self-portrait’ of Madame Tussaud herself.
In 1884 the Madame Tussauds collection had grown too big for its Baker Street location and so moved around the corner into what was to become its permanent home on Marylebone Road. Madame Tussauds has since grown to become a major London attraction, and is now a global brand with branches in Las Vegas, New York, Amsterdam and even Shanghai.
Today, Madam Tussauds in London keeps its fingers firmly on the pulse of modern culture to ensure generation after generation is drawn to the oddly captivating spectacle of the famous and infamous captured in wax. Bollywood Stars, World Leaders, Cultural Figures, Hollywood Stars, Fashion, and Popular Musicians are just some of the varied collection of figures visitors can ‘meet’ with at this ever popular and rather unique London attraction.
Madam Tussauds Ticket prices:
Adults £25.00 (£22.50 online)
Children £21.00 (£18.90 online)
Family £85.00 (£77.00 online)
Daily 09:00 - 18:00
Getting to Madam Tussauds:
Madame Tussauds is a two minute walk from Baker Street tube station. Baker Street underground station is on the Bakerloo, Circle, Jubilee, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines.
The following bus numbers travel to Madame Tussauds: 13, 18, 27, 30, 74, 82, 113, 139 and 274.