Malmaison was a real treat. I enjoy discovering smaller châteaux which are not “too much” in size or decor. I defiinately do not need to see a Versailles type château each type to find beauty.
I was happy for my visit. But, some people like to have that “gilted edge” that comes from celebrities,royalty,politicians or the like. It does stir up interest when famous people are involved.
I like to go beyond and look at who these people were. I like History and was able to “bone up” a bit on the subject.
Here is a brief look at the château’s royal couple, Napoleon I and Josephine.
The “master of the household”, being not only but Napoleon I (1769-1821).
He was born in Ajaccio, on the island of Corsica. He started his career in military school, and proceeded to rise in the ranks of the French army and on to politics. He became what was called the First Consul in 1800. Napoleon had taken the power over the older rule that had followed the French revolution. This made him the most powerful man in the country. He was ultimately proclaimed “emperor of the French” on the 18 May, 1804.
One of the outstanding events of his reign as Emperor includes his crowning the 2 December 1804 at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. It set the tone that instead being crowned by a member of the church, he just crowned himself!
The portrait of the coronation by the artist named David . You can find this work of art at the Louvre.
The Emperor has already crowned himself; he is now crowning Josephine:
The Emperor is of course famous for the numerous battles in Europe that have left their names: Austerlitz,Iena, Wagram or Waterloo. Also, the long and arduous march of his troops up towards Moscow.
Napoleon’s first wife was Joséphine de Beauharnais (née de Tascher de la Pagerie), Josephine was born in 1763 in Trois-islets,Martinique ( a French Caribbean island).She was married to an Army General, with whom she had two children. In 1785, the couple decided on an amicable separation. But in the tumult of the French revolution, her husband is arrested and guillotined.
In 1795, Josephine meets Napoleon, and they marry the following year in a civil ceremony the9 March, 1796. The couple’s letter exchange is well documented, having sent each other many passionate letters.
On 15 december, 1809, the divorce is pronounced. But, leaving Josephine with her rank as Empress-Queen, the château at Malmaison in 1810 and the château de Navarre.
Napoleon married a second time in 1810. His wife was named Marie Louse, Archduchess of Austria. This marriage did produce a son named Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles.
Josephine passed on the 29 May,1814 at Malmaison. She is buried at the local church in Rueil.
Napoleon had a more tragic ending. He was exiled to the island of Saint Helena in October 1815. Napoleon died on the island on 5 May, 1821. His body rests in a casket that is under the dome of the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris.
See you again for more pictures of Malmaison!