Madame Tussaud had a head for business, in more ways than one
On a recent trip to London, I visited Madame Tussauds with my family.
It was a very interesting experience, especially when we realised how much of a gory connection she had with the French Revolution. She was close to Madame Guillotine – the decapitated heads were brought to Madame Tussaud for her to model in wax, on a regular basis.
Madame Tussaud is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London and has branches throughout the world. Its founder, Marie Grosholtz, married Francois Tussaud in 1795, and became known as Madame Tussaud.
The more we learned about this fascinating woman on our visit to London, the more we were intrigued by her story. Her mother worked as a housekeeper for a Dr Curtis, a physician who took Marie Tussaud under his wing and taught her the art of waxwork modelling. Marie visited Versaille to teach Louis XVI sister, Madame Elisabeth in this wonderful art. Madame Elisabeth was known for her sculpting carvings of religious figures.
When he died, Dr. Curis left his exhibition to Madame Tussaud in 1794, and Marie had to fight to keep her business as women had little or no legal rights during revolutionary times. During the French Revolution, she would search through corpses and find severed heads and use them as death masks, which would be paraded through the streets of Paris as Revolutionary flags. Decapitated heads would be brought to Madame Tussaud quite regularly for her to model in wax.
A major attraction for us was the Spirit of London Cabbie Ride, which travels from historic through to modern times. Witness the black plague that claimed so many lives or The Great Fire that completely covered the whole city with thick smoke, and which went on for days. See the glitz and glamour of the swinging sixties or the punk rock era of the 80’s. This was a very informative and educational journey.
For the very brave and courageous, the chambers of horrors will certainly send a chill down your spine, or so I have heard! Frankenstein might rise from his station and bid you good day. Unfortunately I didn’t have the stomach or the heart to venture into this horrific place.
The Star Wars experience at Madame Tussauds is out of this world. After taking approximately twelve months to create, it certainly was worth the wait. With the block buster movie being shown on our screens at the moment, there was a lot of interest in this section. The wax figures almost come to life, an opportunity not to be missed!
After travelling from one world, we stepped into another and watched a 4-D Movie about Super Heroes. Witness Spider-Man hanging upside down, feel Wolverine’s blades in your back or The Incredible Hulk giving you a mighty squeeze.
Madame Tussauds is not only fun but educational too!
Travel File: Book online through madametussauds.com/London