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Chateau de Malmaison

Malmaison was the name of the country house (or chateau) a few miles from Paris that Josephine de Beauharnais bought for herself and Napoleon in April 1799, while he was away at the wars. The house was in terrible shape, and she spent a fortune turning it into a real palace.

Not the least of its attractions, which are open to the public today, was the famous rose garden. Empress Josephine had the French artist Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759 - 1840) record her roses (and lilies), and the prints from the watercolors he made for her are still being marketed.

After Napoleon and Josephine divorced, she continued to live at Malmaison and died there in 1814. Napoleon came back to the house after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, before his exile to the island Saint Helena.