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Madame Tussauds in 1778

200 years of Extraordinary 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
It's 1761 in Strasbourg. Madame Tussaud HERSELF is born as Marie Grosholtz. That's right. The REAL woman.
1777
Marie models the famous author and philosopher, Francois Voltaire. What a legend!
1780
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
1789
On the eve of The French Revolution, Marie returns to Paris.
1793
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!)
1794
The French Revolution ends and Marie inherits Dr Philippe Curtius’ wax exhibition.
1795
She marries Francois Tussaud. (Thanks for the legendary last name, Francois!)
Madame Tussauds & Sons Exhibition Catelogue

Bringing history to Britain

1802
Madame Tussaud leaves her husband behind in 1802 (sorry, Francois). She takes her wax exhibition and relics from the French Revolution to Britain.
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. Sad times.
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 Oh no!
Madame Tussauds - 250 Years

Attractions around the world

1972
The second European Madame Tussauds attraction opens in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Woohoo!
1999
The first American Madame Tussauds opens in Las Vegas. (Woop woop! Vegas baby!!)
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 makes its way to Hollywood.
2010
Madame 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 TWELVE attractions!
2011
Celebrating 250 Years! Yaaasss!

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.