Who is Madame Tussauds?
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
1761 Madame Tussaud is born Marie Grosholtz in Strasbourg.
1777 Marie models the famous author and philosopher, Francois Voltaire.
1780 Marie becomes art tutor to King Louis XVI’s sister and goes to live at the Royal Court in Versailles.
1789 On the eve of The French Revolution, Marie returns to Paris.
1793 Marie is imprisoned with her mother in the notorious Laforce Prison, Paris. On her release she is forced to prove her allegiance to the Revolution by making death masks of executed nobles and her former employers, the King and Queen.
1794 The French Revolution ends and Marie inherits Dr Philippe Curtius’ wax exhibition.
1795 Marie marries François Tussaud.
Bringing history to Britain
1802 Madame Tussaud takes her exhibition on tour to the British Isles, leaving behind her husband.
1835 With her sons, Madame Tussaud establishes a base in London at ‘The Baker Street Bazaar.’
1846 : Punch Magazine coins the name Chamber Of Horrors for Madame Tussaud’s ‘Separate Room’, where gruesome relics of the French Revolution are displayed.
1850 : Madame Tussaud dies.
A historic attraction is born
1884 : Marie’s grandsons move the attraction to its current site on Marylebone Road
1925 : The attraction is devastated by fire.
1928 : Restoration is completed with the addition of a cinema and restaurant.
1940 : Madame Tussauds is struck by a German World War II bomb destroying 352 head moulds, and the cinema.