Château de Malmaison

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Château de Malmaison

Chateaudemalmaison.jpg

The Château de Malmaison
General information
Type Château
Architectural style Renaissance, Empire
Town or city Rueil-Malmaison
Country France

Château de Malmaison (French pronunciation:  [ʃɑ.to də‿mal.mɛzɔ̃] ) is a French château near the western bank of the Seine about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of the centre of Paris in Rueil-Malmaison.

Château type of manor house found mostly in French-speaking regions

A château is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of nobility or gentry, with or without fortifications, originally—and still most frequently—in French-speaking regions.

Seine river in France

The Seine is a 777-kilometre-long (483 mi) river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Source-Seine, 30 kilometres (19 mi) northwest of Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre. It is navigable by ocean-going vessels as far as Rouen, 120 kilometres (75 mi) from the sea. Over 60 percent of its length, as far as Burgundy, is negotiable by commercial riverboats, and nearly its whole length is available for recreational boating; excursion boats offer sightseeing tours of the river banks in Paris, lined with top monuments including Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and Musée d'Orsay.

Rueil-Malmaison Commune in Île-de-France, France

Rueil-Malmaison is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, in the Hauts-de-Seine department of France. It is located 12.6 kilometres from the centre of Paris. It is one of the wealthiest suburbs of Paris.

Contents

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. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the estate became a summer residence of Edward Tuck, the Vice Consul of the American Legation in Paris.

Napoleon 18th/19th-century French monarch, military and political leader

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

Hundred Days period from Napoleons escape from Elba to the second restoration of King Louis XVIII

The Hundred Days marked the period between Napoleon's return from exile on the island of Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815. This period saw the War of the Seventh Coalition, and includes the Waterloo Campaign, the Neapolitan War as well as several other minor campaigns. The phrase les Cent Jours was first used by the prefect of Paris, Gaspard, comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the king back to Paris on 8 July.

Edward Tuck American diplomat

Edward Tuck was an American banker, diplomat, and philanthropist. He is known for funding the establishment of the Tuck School of Business at his alma mater, Dartmouth College. The son of Amos Tuck, a founder of the Republican Party, Edward Tuck served as the Vice Consul in Paris, and grew his fortune as a partner of the banking firm John Munroe & Co.

History

Napoleon Crossing the Alps , a Jacques-Louis David painting from the Malmaison collection. David - Napoleon crossing the Alps - Malmaison2.jpg
Napoleon Crossing the Alps , a Jacques-Louis David painting from the Malmaison collection.
Napoleon and Josephine de Beauharnais Josephine-Napoleon.jpg
Napoleon and Joséphine de Beauharnais

Joséphine de Beauharnais bought the manor house in April 1799 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, seven miles (12 km) west of central Paris 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".

Hortense de Beauharnais Queen Consort of Holland

Hortense Eugénie Cécile Bonaparte, Queen consort of Holland, was the stepdaughter of Emperor Napoléon I, being the daughter of his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais. She later became the wife of the former's brother, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, and the mother of Napoléon III, Emperor of the French. She had also an illegitimate son, The 1st Duc de Morny, by her lover, the Comte de Flahaut.

Joséphine endeavored to transform the large estate into "the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation". She located rare and exotic plants and animals to enhance the gardens. Joséphine wrote: "I wish that Malmaison may soon become the source of riches for all [of France]"...

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.

Orangery covered winter garden

An orangery or orangerie was a room or a dedicated building on the grounds of fashionable residences from the 17th to the 19th centuries where orange and other fruit trees were protected during the winter, as a very large form of greenhouse or conservatory.

Pineapple species of plant

The pineapple is a tropical plant with an edible multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries, also called pineapples, and the most economically significant plant in the family Bromeliaceae.

Greenhouse building in which plants are grown

A greenhouse is a structure with walls and roof made chiefly of transparent material, such as glass, in which plants requiring regulated climatic conditions are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to industrial-sized buildings. A miniature greenhouse is known as a cold frame. The interior of a greenhouse exposed to sunlight becomes significantly warmer than the external ambient temperature, protecting its contents in cold weather.

The property achieved enduring fame for its rose garden. Empress Joséphine had the Belgian artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759–1840) record her roses (and lilies), and prints of these works sell quite well, even today. She created an extensive collection of roses, gathering plants from her native Martinique and from other places around the world. She grew some 250 varieties of roses. From the foreword to Jardin de la Malmaison (1803):

Rose garden garden or park which comprises mainly of roses

A rose garden or rosarium is a garden or park, often open to the public, used to present and grow various types of garden roses or rose species. Designs vary tremendously and roses may be displayed alongside other plants or grouped by individual variety, colour or class in rose beds.

Pierre-Joseph Redouté painter from the Southern Netherlands

Pierre-Joseph Redouté, was a painter and botanist from Belgium, known for his watercolours of roses, lilies and other flowers at Malmaison. He was nicknamed "the Raphael of flowers" and has been called the greatest botanical illustrator of all time.

Martinique Overseas region and department in France

Martinique is an insular region of France located in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 square kilometres (436 sq mi) and a population of 376,480 inhabitants as of January 2016. Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, southeast of Greater Antilles, northwest of Barbados, and south of Dominica.

You have gathered around you the rarest plants growing on French soil...as we inspect them in the beautiful gardens of Malmaison, an impressive reminder of the conquests of your illustrious husband...

Birds and animals of all sorts began to enrich her garden, where they were allowed to roam free among the grounds. At the height of her days at Malmaison, Joséphine had the company of kangaroos, emus, black swans, zebras, sheep, gazelles, ostriches, chamois, a seal, antelopes and llamas to name a few. Some were from the Baudin expedition.

After her divorce from Napoléon, Joséphine received Malmaison in her own right, along with a pension of 5 million francs a year, and remained there until her death in 1814. Napoléon returned and took residence in the house after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo (1815), before his exile to the island of Saint Helena.

In 1842 Malmaison was purchased by Maria Christina, widow of King Ferdinand VII of Spain; she lived there with her second husband Agustín Fernando Muñoz, 1st Duke of Riánsares. In 1861 Maria Christina sold the property to Napoleon III.

Malmaison was fully restored by the famous French architect Pierre Humbert in the early 20th century. It is now considered an important historical monument. [1]

Present times

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.

Exterior

Interior

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References

Coordinates: 48°52′15″N2°10′01″E / 48.87083°N 2.16694°E / 48.87083; 2.16694