A Visit To Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum is one of the top tourist places to visit in Hong Kong. The museum with its life size wax figures which bear such close resemblance to famous people draws many visitors. This was my second visit to Madame Tussaud's, the first being the one in London. It was a memorable visit to mix and mingle with the rich and famous even though they were made of wax!
I am not sure why but most people enjoy being able to identify well known figures of politicians, film stars, famous men and women and past historical figures. Many love to pose for photographs with them, me included!
Victoria Peak, Hong Kong's highest point
Madame Tussauds is located at Victoria Peak, the highest point of Hong Kong at 554 meters (1,817.6 feet) above sea level. Victoria Peak is the perfect place to see Hong Kong after dark with its multi colorful lights. A visit to the Lion Pavilion will give you a spectacular view of Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Peninsula. Victoria Harbor is one of the world's busiest ports with a constant ebb and flow of shipping all year round.
Tourists can take the Peak Tram to ascend the mountain. This tram has been in operation for over one hundred years. Although there were lots of tourists waiting to ride the tram, it didn't take long for everyone to reach the summit. The journey take about 8 minutes and there you will see Peak Tower which houses the wax museum.
Birth Of The Wax Museum
Marie Tussaud, a talented wax sculptor
Marie Tussaud was born in Strasbourg, France in 1761. Her father was killed in the war before she was born and her mother moved to Berne where she worked as a housekeeper for Dr. Philippe Curtius. Curtius was a physician and skilled in wax modeling which he used to illustrate anatomy.
Curtius moved to Paris in 1765 where he began work on a wax exhibition. That year he made a waxwork of Louis XV's mistress. In 1767 Tussaud and her mother joined Curtius in Paris. In 1770 Curtius had his first exhibition which was a great success. Curtius taught Tussaud the art of wax modelling. she showed a lot of talent and began to work for him. In 1778 she made her first wax figure which was Jean-Jacques Rousseau. She later made models of other famous people like Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin. From 1780 to the revolution in 1789 she taught art to Louis XVI's sister and lived at Versailles.
In Paris she was involved in the French Revolution where she met many of its prominent figures. She was arrested but managed to be released before her execution. Marie was employed to make the death masks of the victims of the guillotine including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. When Curtius died in 1794 he left his collection of waxworks to Marie.
In 1795 she married Francois Tussaud and had two children. In 1802 she went to London with one of her sons. Because of the Napoleonic wars she was unable to return to France and traveled throughout Great Britain and Ireland with her collection. In 1835 she set up her first permanent exhibition at Baker Street. She made a self portrait in 1842 which is on display at the entrance of her museum.
She died in London in 1850 at the age of 88. Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum is now one of the major tourist attractions in London and has expanded with branches in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Shanghai, Berlin, Washington DC, New York City and Hollywood.
Who's Who At Madame Tussauds
The museum is spit into six sections: Hong Kong Glamor, World Premiere, The Champions, Music Icons and National Heroes. The Scream section is a blood and gore theme park ride.
Barrack Obama - Former President of USA
The museum features nearly 100 wax figures of internationally-known personalities and Asian celebrities. Asian figures take up more than a third of the total of which 16 are Hong Kongers. Many visitors like to pose for photographs with famous personalities.
Who can blame them. It is not everyday that you get to rub shoulders with presidents and other famous people even though they are only made of wax! You can take your own or you can make use of the official photographer for a small fee.
Everyone's favorite is of course those which grace the movie screen. They are the glamorous stars of Hollywood, Bollywood and Hong Kong's glamor world. Marilyn Monroe with her famous flying skirt immortalized in wax!
The British Royal Family
A popular photograph spot is with the Royal family. Who would decline to have a picture taken with Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. After all it is not often you get an audience with Her Majesty, the Queen of England.
A Moment With Einstein
Rubbing shoulders with the brilliant scientist may inspire me to greater heights. One can but hope!
World Cup Stars - World Cup fever is on!
With the World Cup now on in South Africa, football fans would not like to miss a chance to meet the goal scoring Portuguese footballer Christiano Ronaldo.
In the London Madame Tussauds, he is joined by England's favorites David Beckham and Gerrard.
Not for the faint-hearted
The Scream section is for adults. It is a blood curdling interactive experience only for the strong hearted. I opted out of the visit but my husband and son were game to try it. It is a similar concept to the London Dungeons and is based around the idea of an Asylum where the inmates have escaped and so must you.
© 2010 Sue Mah