Now a museum-château, Malmaison was the private residence of Napoleon Bonaparte and Joséphine from 1799 to 1814, a "place in the country" just half an hour from Paris, where the First Consul came to work and relax.
Unlike official residences, such as the Tuileries Palace and the châteaux of Saint-Cloud, Fontainebleau and Compiègne, Malmaison remained an intimate home renowned for the beauty of its gardens and the several hundreds of rare species of plants that were introduced here, until the death of Joséphine in 1814.
Built in the 17th century, the Château de Malmaison was bought by Joséphine Bonaparte in 1799, who was looking for land in the vicinity of Paris. Bonaparte approved the purchase on his return from Egypt, and the couple called on the services of the architects Percier and Fontaine who transformed the old house into a unique example of the elegant and sophisticated consular style. As of 1800, French policy decisions were regularly taken at the small château, and it hosted many working meetings, receptions, concerts, balls and rural games. After the divorce in 1809, Joséphine continued to live at this residence where she died on 29 May 1814. Her son, Prince Eugène, inherited the property, but the estate was subsequently sold twice before being purchased by the Emperor Napoleon III in 1861. It was finally bought in 1896 by a patron and philanthropist, Daniel Iffla, known as Osiris, who restored the estate and donated it to the State. A Napoleonic museum was opened in 1905. Visitors to the château and the park can savour the charm of this "place in the country" which has managed to preserve its authentic atmosphere and character.