By Remi Jouan – Wikimedia

Top 10 Facts about the Grevin Museum in Paris


Ever thought of visiting a wax museum? Well, this is where you should go when in Paris.

The Grevin Museum is the oldest waxwork museum in Europe. In here, you will find more than 300 realistic wax copies neatly arranged into scenes.

Looking at the wax figures, one can tell the French history as well as world history.

There are figures of famous movie stars, pop-artists like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson. and international intellects like Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, and Charlie Chaplin.

The doors to this museum were opened to the public in 1882. Visitors to this museum were amazed by the collection inside.

All the figures featured in here tell the course of human history. You can access the museum on any day of the week.

Here are more facts about the Grevin Museum.

1. The museum was founded by Arthur Meyer

This museum was founded in 1882 by Arthur Meyer. He was a journalist for Le Gaulois.

The museum was named after its first artistic director, caricaturist Alfred Grévin.

Grevin Museum in Paris is the oldest wax museums in the whole of Europe.

Its design is borrowed from Baroque architecture and has a hall of mirrors. This is based on the principle of a catoptric cistula.

The hall of mirrors was built for the Exposition Universelle in 1900. It was formerly part of the Palais des mirages designed by Eugène Hénard.

The idea of the wax museum came about after Arthur Meyer thought it would be great for Parisians to get a close-up look at celebrities.

This was to be achieved through having the celebrities immortalised in wax.

There were a few photographs of famous people available at that time.

The wax models would allow people to know the faces of their celebrities.

2. The wax figures have been arranged according to time

Picasso and Rodin scene at Grevin Museum. Photo By BlueEagle1 – Wikimedia

The wax figures in the Grévin Museum have been arranged according to the scenes of the most dramatic moments in French history.

This arrangement brings to life the important historical events. Some of the events featured include the assassination of Marat during the French revolution.

There is also a vivid re-enactment of the torture and skinning of Saint Bartholomew from August 24, 1572.

Each year sees additional four French or international personalities selected to be included in the museum’s expanding displays.

The personalities range from writers, actors, athletes or personalities from the world of culture. Politicians are also included.

3. Not just anyone can get a wax figure in this museum

A wax figure of footballer Kylian Mbappé at Grevin Museum. Photo courtesy of Grevin Museum, Paris website

The Grévin Museum has over 500 life-size wax characters of some of the world’s best-known celebrities, most of whom are from France.

They are personalities like athletes, politicians, singers and actors. This, therefore, means that not just anyone can get featured here.

For one to get through, there is a selection process through a jury. This jury meets twice a year.

Next is a series of measurements and several photographs were taken. This is to ensure that the best possible replica of the individual is reproduced.

Hair is then placed strand by strand onto the chosen one’s wax skull.

They also take a plaster cast of each hand for a more realistic vein in the hands. It is all about perfection in this museum.

4. There are 450 wax figures from France’s history

Picasso and Rodin scene at Grevin Museum. Photo By BlueEagle1 – Wikimedia

The Grévin Museum became a success on the spot since it opened its doors on Boulevard Montmartre.

Parisians were impressed by the wax figures and everyone wanted to see for themselves.

There are about 450 wax figures from French history and modern life.

One of the scenes shows a panorama of the history of Charlemagne to Napoleon III. Another shows a bloody scene of the French Revolution.

The original wax figures are from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.

There are also figures of contemporary persons like movie stars, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Shah Rukh Khan, Pablo Picasso, Michael Jackson, Josephine Baker and Pope John Paul II.

5. The hall of mirrors was built in 1900

When you first visit the museum, you will begin in the palace of mirages, also known as the hall of mirrors. It is a room devoted to an optical illusion.

The room was built in 1900 in preparation for the Universal Exhibition in Paris. It still functions as a giant kaleidoscope multiplying the room.

There are also games of sound and light that transport visitors from one universe to another. Through such, one can relieve important events of the past.

The museum theatre is the second part to check out in the museum. This room has wax figures of the most famous stars like Brad Pitt and Georges Clooney.

6. A new modern wax museum has more

Grevin Museum underwent renovations in early 2019 during its 137th-anniversary celebrations.

Several of their exhibits were updated as well as the inclusion of more than 60 new statues.

Some of the updated features in the museum include interactive attractions, video and lights shows.

There is also a Café that is conveniently located next to the museum.

One fact unknown to many is that, If a star’s popularity fades, their statue is taken out of the main showrooms.

7. The Paris museum-inspired two more by the same name

By Remi Jouan – Wikimedia

The Grevin Museum birthed two other wax museums in two different countries.

One of them is in Seoul and features more than 88 wax figures of famous K-pop stars and others from around the world.

Visitors to this museum are free to touch, feel and take photos with the wax figures.

The Grevin Living Waxwork Museum is in a building that was originally a vestige of the Seoul government. It has profound historic and architectural meaning.

The other Grevin Museum is in Montreal Canada. It was opened in 2013 and has wax adaptations of people relevant to Canadian history and culture.

8. The museum is close to other attractions

Grevin Museum in Paris is strategically located close to other attractions in the city.

The Opera Garnier, the Palais-Royal de Paris, the Place Vendôme, or the Louvre Museum are a short walking distance from the museum.

9. Grevin Museum is a time machine

This Museum in Paris is a bit like a time machine that lets you go back in time.

Through interacting with the wax figures, one gets the chance to see famous historic figures, sports stars, world leaders and fashion icons.

There is a majestic marble staircase that was built in 1900 leading to the Hall of Mirrors.

10. The interior of the museum is beautiful

Photo Courtesy of Grevin Museum Instagram

The interiors of the Grevin Museum have been decorated in a Baroque style. Fine rosewood panelling, gilt and marble have been used.

12 columns support the vaulted ceiling and it also has bronze embellishments. Five female figures are representing five continents.

Gustave Rives was the architect responsible for the design and decoration of this museum.

Each year new wax characters are unveiled. You’ll be able to discover not only the architectural and historical heritage of Paris but also chance upon writers and actors. The sports-themed display has personalities from the world of culture.