The castle of la Petite Malmaison

Rueil-Malmaison History, Napoleon I

Willing to have in Malmaison park a place dedicated to her passion, botany, Josephine made “La PetiteMalmaison Castle” built between 1803 and 1805 with the help of the famous artists : Berthault, the architect, Gilet for the marbles and Jacob Desmalter, the cabinetmaker.

The Empress set all her heart to the improvement and decoration of this house, with the noticeable addition of great hothouses where she let grow various exotic plants, flowers and trees. All the exotic plants, including the hydrangea, were brought to her by naturalist Bonpland. Redouté was her botanist and a famous painter in watercolours, also called the ‘Raphael of the flowers’, he created his most beautiful roses in these glasshouses.

Today,La Petite Malmaison is a private home surrounded by hundred years old trees. Nowadays, it still keeps the delicate atmosphere that prevailed during the Empire days.