Rueil-Malmaison, residence of Napoleon and Joséphine

Monday, 31 October 2011 - 03:11 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Paris / Île-de-France
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul Church © Myrabella

Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul Church © Myrabella

Rueil-Malmaison is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, in the Hauts-de-Seine department. It is located 12.6 kilometers from the center of Paris. Rueil is famous for the Château de Malmaison where Napoleon and his first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais lived. Upon her death in 1814, she was buried at the nearby Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul church, which stands at the centre of the city. The Rueil barracks of the Swiss Guard were constructed in 1756 under Louis XV by the architect Axel Guillaumot, and have been classifed Monument historique since 1973. The Guard was formed by Louis XIII in 1616 and massacred at the Tuileries on 10 August 1792 during the French Revolution. At the end of the 19th century, Impressionist painters like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet and Claude Monet came to paint the Seine River which crosses the town. Rueil is (despite the title) the principal location of the novel Loin de Rueil by the French novelist Raymond Queneau.

Joséphine de Beauharnais bought Château de Malmaison in April 1797 for herself and her husband, General Napoléon Bonaparte, the future Napoléon I of France, at that time away fighting the Egyptian Campaign. Malmaison was a run-down estate, that encompassed nearly 150 acres (0.61 km2) of woods and meadows. Upon his return, Bonaparte expressed fury at Joséphine for purchasing such an expensive house with the money she had expected him to bring back from the Egyptian campaign. The house, for which she had paid well over 300,000 francs, needed extensive renovations, and she spent a fortune doing so. Malmaison would bring great happiness to the Bonapartes. Joséphine’s daughter, Hortense would call it “a delicious spot”. Joséphine endeavored to transform the large estate into “the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation”. She actively sought out flora and fauna along with rare and exotic animals from around the world. In 1800, Joséphine built a heated orangery large enough for 300 pineapple plants. Five years later, she ordered the building of a greenhouse, heated by a dozen coal-burning stoves. From 1803 until her death in 1814, Josephine cultivated nearly 200 new plants in France for the first time.

Town Hall © Pymouss44 Chateau de Malmaison © Copyleft Place de l'Église © Pymouss44 Office building in the new business district of Rueil-sur-Seine © Keizuko Château de Malmaison © Ordifana75 Bois-Préau Castle and Park, part of the Malmaison estate. Statue of Joséphine de Beauharnais in the foreground © Myrabella 'Napoleon crossing the Alps' by Jacques Louis David Édouard Manet 'Landhaus in Rueil' © Google Art Project Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul Church © Myrabella
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Bois-Préau Castle and Park, part of the Malmaison estate. Statue of Joséphine de Beauharnais in the foreground © Myrabella
The public can visit the manor house as a Napoleonic musée national. The museum lies on RN 13 (route nationale 13) from Paris and bus 258 from RER A “Grande Arche” station.

Read more on City of Rueil-Malmaison, Malmaison Castle Museum (National Museum musées nationaux napoléoniens), Rueil-Malmaison Tourism, Wikipedia Château de Malmaison and Wikipedia Rueil-Malmaison. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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