More about Malmaison Chateau

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Take a thirty-minute drive from Paris to the Chateaux de Malmaison, the former crib of Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine. You won’t be disappointed. 

Let’s get this House Hunters special on the road! This three-level, fifteen room chateau was built in the 18th century. During the French Revolution, ownership of the chateau changed hands. The rich families that owned it for centuries were forced to sell it to Josephine Bonaparte in 1799, who made it into a country refuge. The Chateaux de Malmaison was purchased before Napoleon’s career promotion to emperor of France.

While Napoleon was fighting for his life in Egypt, Josephine began doing an extreme makeover on the chateau. After scouring the 18th-century equivalent of Craig’s List, Josephine found architects and decorators Charles Percier and Pierre Francois Leonard Fontaine to flip this shanty chateau and give it the new design style called Empire. A perfect fit for the future leader of France, am I right? To design the six hectares of gardens, Josephine brought on board the landscaper and decorator Louis-Martin Berthault in 1805. Berthault designed the garden in the English style, and made Josephine sleep in a room designed like a grand tent. Now that’s glamping to the extreme!

This story has a bitter-sweet ending. Josephine would end up dedicating her life to Malmaison after Napoleon divorced her in 1809 because she couldn’t bear his children. Super harsh, right? To be fair to Napoleon (but who really wants to be?), he compensated her by letting her keep her title and allowing her to stay in the chateau. Who needs to be married to a dude when you have the Chateaux de Malmaison to call home? Eventually, in 1906, the chateau was turned into a museum in 1906 dedicated to the lives of Napoleon and Josephine, rocky as their relationship may have been. 

 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Château de Malmaison

The Château de Malmaison (French pronunciation: ​[ʃɑto d(ə) malmɛzɔ̃]) is a French château situated near the left bank of the Seine, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of the centre of Paris, in the municipality of Rueil-Malmaison.

Formerly the residence of Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, along with the Tuileries it was the headquarters of the French government from 1800 to 1802, and Napoleon's last residence in France at the end of the Hundred Days in 1815.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Château de Malmaison