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A famous collection of wax figures which is known worldwide

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Wax figures of The Beatles in Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussaud's claims to be London's most famous tourist attraction - which might just be right as the museum's collection of wax figures is known worldwide. The franchise has established itself in numerous other global cities, including New York, Amsterdam, and Shanghai. London's branch, however, remains the original, and the most revered.

The Queen in the Royal Appointment Zone
Photo mariosp
It all began in the 16th century, when a famous wax sculptor called Philippe Curtius realised that his housekeeper's daughter had developed a passionate interest in his work. Her name was Marie Tussaud. He decided to teach her his skills, and this unlikely student soon flourished, eventually producing her own works in 1777. These first figures included Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Benjamin Franklin. By the time Curtius died in 1794, his pupil was a master of her craft. He left his entire collection of waxworks to her.

Madame Tussauds at the top of Baker Street
By 1802, Marie was in Britain, travelling throughout the country to exhibit her impressive host of figures. Eventually, her hard work paid off, and Madame Tussaud's waxwork museum opened on Baker Street, London, in 1835. From there, the establishment simply grew and grew, surviving a major fire, and two world wars. It has since moved to Marylebone Road, and continues to delight hundreds of people, every single day.

Did You Know?

During the French Revolution, while she was learning her trade, Maria Tussaud would search numerous dead bodies, in order to find faces she wished to depict.
The current collection of figures is far, far too long to list. It stretches back to depictions of famous faces from history's depths, such a William Shakespeare, and continues forward to include such 21st century characters as Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow. You can also expect to meet Kylie Minogue, Sean Connery, the Beatles – and there's even an unsettling encounter with Adolf Hitler. Other unusual new figures include Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's child Shiloh – the first baby in the museum – and Daniel Radcliffe, who became the youngest ever actor to be featured. New waxworks are frequently being added, so there's always something new to see.

Kylie Minogue in the Music Megastars Zone
Photo the12thplaya

Angelina Jolie on the A-List Zone
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Tom Cruise
Photo g-witzel-lucky

Adolf Hitler, controversially added to the World Leaders Zone
Photo Ashley R Photography

Did You Know?

Ever wondered what Madame Tussaud looked like? Well you can see for yourself – because eight years before her death, she created a wax self-portrait. It is on display in her museum - go and see for yourself.
Visitor Information
Madame Tussaud's is open daily from 9am to 5pm (open extended during peak seasons). Entry costs around £28 for adults, £24 for children. Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LR. Tel: 08718 943 000

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