If you happen to be in London and are looking for a wax museum to indulge in, then look no further than Madame Tussauds. Within its walls, you will find displayed waxworks of film stars, historical and royal figures, sports stars as well as infamous murderers. Here, you can take photos with the some of the real life wax figures of your stars and hold on to the memories of a near encounter with them, albeit one with real life wax figures, as opposed to the real thing.
In 1761, a child was born fatherless into the world, her father having died at war two months to her birth, she was named Anna Maria Grosholtz. The bereaved mother moved her daughter to Bern in France where she worked as a housekeeper for Dr Philippe Curtius, a physician as well as wax sculptor. The child grew to call Curtius, uncle, and he in turn taught her the art of modeling with wax. Her first wax figure was that of Voltaire, a French enlightenment writer, thereafter moving on to her other famous celebrities.
After narrowly escaping death by guillotine during the Reign of Terror in France, she moved on to modeling death masks of the victims of the guillotine before travelling to London in 1802. This was after she had married Francois Tussaud in 1795, following Curtius’s death in 1794. London became her home after she failed to get back to France as a result of the Napoleonic wars. Her first permanent exhibition was established on Baker street, and her self-portrait graces the entrance to Madame Tussauds museum. Alongside new figures within the museum walls are some of the oldest displays made by Madame Tussauds herself, most prominent are her self-portrait that graces its entrance, Madame du Barry’s figure(the figure that portrays sleeping beauty), as well as that of Benjamin Franklin.
Located on Marylebone Street near Central London, the museum has a lot to offer its visitors, catering to each need, from the royal enthusiasts to the Chamber of Horrors fanatics. You can strike a pose with any of the royals on display such as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and William or Camilla among others. If visiting with the royals is not your thing, then you can strike a pose with the numerous movie actors and musicians such as Lady Gaga, Spiderman, Johnny Depp, and Marilyn Monroe among others. Alternatively, be a part of the life-like moral authority figure of Nelson Mandela. Wherever you look, you will be mesmerized by the well-known figures that have been artistically brought to life through waxing. Themed rooms grace the museum to ensure that you remain engrossed for hours on end.
For those who are not faint at heart, then the chamber of horrors is the place to visit within the museum, here you will find depictions of death chambers, as well as figures of famous villains such as Jack the Ripper. Images from the French Revolution, most notably the actual blade that was used to behead Marie Antoinette are also showcased.