Perhaps you, much like me, thought that Madame Tussaud’s had a monopoly on the wax museum gambit? With all due respect to her entrepreneurial spirit, it is not so. The Grévin Wax Museum has been both delighting and terrifying patrons since 1882. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at one of Paris’ most unique attractions!
In the age before photography, newspapers relied heavily on illustrators and caricaturists to convey images of the newsworthy, famous, and infamous to the general public. Arthur Meyer, the director of the widely circulated newspaper ‘Le Gaulois’, had a keen sense of not only what the public wanted, but also how to make a fortune. He joined forces with caricaturist Alfred Grévin (for whom the museum is named after), and the museum opened its doors in 1882. Meyer’s gamble was correct, the public was entranced! They showed up in droves to see wax likenesses of both ‘modern’ and historical figures!
Originally, along with famous figures from France’s history, they also included magic show performances and seances. As the poster (pictured above) illustrates, the Grévin Wax Museum brought to life gory scenes from the French Revolution, as well as infamous murders. The renowned ‘Hall of Mirrors’ which was built for the Universal Exposition in 1900, also had a kaleidoscope effect. It is still part of the museum’s decor today!
Since it’s opening, there have been over 2,000 wax statues produced.
The Museum underwent renovations early 2019 to celebrate its 137th anniversary! Several exhibits were updated, and more than 60 new statues were added. Updated features include, interactive attractions, video and lights shows, as well as a change in decor.
Looking for a place to relax after hobnobbing with the ‘stars’? Café Grévin opened its doors in 2011, and is conveniently located right next to the museum. For more information about the café, please click the link here.
Fun, yet also sad fact: If a star’s popularity fades, their statue is taken out of the main showrooms and sent to the purgatory of Grévin’s storage space. A cruel fate? Perhaps, but that’s showbiz!
Address: 10 Boulevard Montmartre, 75009, PARIS
Hours of Operation:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Ticket Prices: please click the link here
*The museum has been wheelchair accessible since 2001.
For more information about the Grévin Wax Museum, please visit their website by clicking here.