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Our history

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.

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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.

One of the first exhibition catalogs of Madame Tussauds

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.

Madame Tussauds was hit by air raids during the Second World War, in which head molds and the cinema were completely destroyed.

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.

250 years Madame Tussauds Berlin

Attractions around the world

1972 The second European Madame Tussauds attraction opens in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

1999 The first American Madame Tussauds opens in Las Vegas.

2000 The second American Madame Tussauds attraction opens in New York, and the same year Madame Tussauds opens in Hong Kong.

2006 Madame Tussauds opens in Shanghai.

2007 The third American attraction opens in Washington DC.

2008 The third European site becomes Berlin, where the attraction opens in ‘Unter den Linden’.

2009 The fourth American site opens in Hollywood.2010Madame Tussauds Bangkok opens in December - the third attraction in Asia.

2011 Vienna (Austria) and Blackpool (UK) both open in April 2011 - the global count is now up to 12 attractions.

2011 Celebrating 250 Years!

Important personalities of the modern age stand as wax figures in the various Madame Tussauds

The next 250 years

2012 G'day! Madame Tussauds arrives Down Under in Sydney.

2013 Madame Tussauds attractions open in Tokyo and Wuhan.

2014 The fifth US attraction opens in San Francisco, California, and China’s third attraction opens in Beijing.

2015 Madame Tussauds lands in Orlando, Florida.

2016 Madame Tussauds opens in Istanbul and Chongqing.

2017 This year the first Madame Tussauds will open its doors in Delhi, India. Additionally Madame Tussauds Nashville, celebrating iconic musicians past and present, is opening Spring 2017! It will be Madame Tussauds' first music-themed attraction.