A Look Behind the Scenes of Vienna’s Madame Tussauds Museum

Madame Tussauds museum in Vienna

Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Sisi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Falco, Maria Theresia, and Gustav Klimt are just some of the local personalities and historic people to be seen here.

As for international celebrities, here is a sneak peek. Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, and Michael Jackson are all here alongside with many many others. But, let’s not spoil it. We leave it for you to discover it by yourself.

Not just this. There is a special part of the museum where you can take Albert Einstein‘s intelligence test, compose the “Blue Danube” waltz with Johann Strauß, sing on the stage with Katty Perry or even go head to head with one of the legends of football Hans Krankl in a penalty shoot-out.

Arnold wax figure

But, seeing all these celebs without knowing some fun stories about them and their sculpture will not make this tour complete. If you wanna hear some amazing information about each of the sculptures here, make sure you download the Cultural Places app, travel audio guide that has a tour specially created for Madame Tussauds museum.

What we also found amusing were 200 m² of the “Sisi Uncovered Experience” that opened in February 2017. This place reveals all the unknown sides of Elisabeth by taking a look at a day in the life of the Empress. Ultra-modern technology with 3D animations and sensory impressions of smell and taste create an authentically real experience of Sisi and her time. Trust us, you have not seen anything like this anywhere else.

Oh, and one more thing.

Taking photographs and selfies is expressly desired!

How to get to Madame Tussauds museum?

  • In case you go by metro, just use lines U1 or U2. Station, where you need to exit, is called “Praterstern”
  • If you go by bus, catch the number 80A to the same station.
  • Even HOP ON HOP OFF bus stops here. Take Blue Line and exit at “Prater / Riesenrad.”

The official address is Riesenradplatz 1, 1020 Wien.

In case you want to contact them, just write on this email.

The unique approach to creating a wax sculpture

The wax figures of Madame Tussauds have fascinated people for more than 150 years. As of today, you can see these amazing wax figures on 4 different continents and 25 cities, all done in the same unique style.

But how long does it take to make each wax figure?

The answer is…

Drum roll…..

Are you ready?

Three to six months to produce is the time necessary to produce just one figure!  About 200 photographs are needed to capture even the smallest feature of a person in the most realistic detail possible.

The number of hours sometimes goes over 800, and the average cost of one Madame Tussauds sculpture is  €200,000!

Here is how it is all done

The first step of the process is sitting with the celebrity. Here we have Adriana Lima checking on her eyes. We have to admit, it is not easy to make such beautiful eyes.

Each figure takes a total of 15 artists three to four months to complete. The New York City location adds seven new figures each year, and globally the company aims to make about 230 figures in total. The first step of the process is a sitting with the celebrity.

During the sitting, the designers will take more than 250 measurements from Adriana, including finding her exact hair, eye, and skin color. The previous part is super important for this because even the smallest difference will be evident once the figure is sculpted.

During the sitting, more than 250 measurements of the celebrity are taken, including finding their exact hair, eye, and skin color.
After the sitting is done, the figure is sculpted in clay.

The sculptor carefully creates every single centimeter of Adriana’s face.

The sculptors have to make sure the measurements are exact, and that their figure is starting to come to life.
Next, the molding process takes place — this is when the wax comes into play. Figures are cast in wax for about 170 hours.

After a successful molding process, it is time for a Lima’s here to be placed first. Each strand of hair is inserted individually by hand and this process usually takes up to 6 weeks!

After a successful molding process, the hair insertion is next.
lady gaga wax sculpture

It looks like real Gaga, doesn’t it?

Next, it is time for oil paints to be used. In this part, the sculptors have to guess the exact skin color of our angel.

Next, oil paints are used to mimic the exact skin tone. Artists are sure to make the skin translucent and a realistic texture.
Once the skin is finished, they insert the eyes and the teeth. The eyes are matched exactly to the subject's eye color and are made individually from acrylic resin. The teeth are designed from a mold that's taken during the sitting.

We are almost finished. It is time to chose some nice outfit. Usually, the celebrities will give a wardrobe for their figures to wear.

The final step is finding a wardrobe for the figure. Generally subjects will donate a wardrobe for their figures to wear.
Finally, finishing touches are made, and the wax figurine is ready for the spotlight. Once the finishing touch-ups are done, figures are sent to their official locations in a custom-made, foam-lined crate.
Although all figures are made in London, each location has its own studio team to make sure their site's figures are up to par, and maintenance is done daily.

Thanks to Businessinsider and Wieninfo for showing us how the way sculptures are made.

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1 Response

  1. June 10, 2022


    thank you for a very good article

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