In keeping with her husband's wish to acquire land close to Paris, in 1799 Josephine Bonaparte purchased the estate of La Malmaison.
She then commissioned restoration of the old building in neo-classical style and landscaping of the gardens.
Josephine retained ownership of the estate after her divorce and continued to reside in this veritable château-museum through to her death in 1814.
In 1861, the estate was purchased by Josephine's grandson, the Emperor Napoleon III. He used it to house a museum which was forced to close in 1870 when war was declared with Prussia.
In 1896, Daniel Iffla, known as Osiris, acquired the remaining 6 hectares surrounding the château and then had the interiors restored before donating the entire estate to the French state in 1903 for the creation of a Napoleonic museum which first opened its doors to the public in 1905.
Now restored and redeveloped in the style of the times of Napoleon and the Empress Josephine, the Château of Malmaison gives the modern-day visitor a fascinating flavour of the atmosphere which reigned when the illustrious couple resided there.