According to historical sources, the presence of a dwelling in the domain of Malmaison dated well before the thirteenth century but the name Mala domus did not appear in the scriptures until 1244. The denomination is due, it is said, because of the invaders who settled in the place. Guillaume Goudet, sergeant-at-arms of Charles VI, bought the land in 1390 which will remain in his family until 1763. The construction of the castle begins in the 1600s and it is rented by its owners from 1737 to rich financiers .
In 1763, the estate was sold to the son of the Chancellor of Aguesseau and then sold in 1771 to the rich banker Jacques-Jean the Couteulx of Molay. The Château de Malmaison became an important part of French history when the Empress Joséphine Bonaparte bought it for 325,000 francs on April 21, 1799. Bonaparte confirmed the purchase on his return from Egypt and became the true owner. From 1800 to 1802, the castle was transformed into a seat of government where the councils of ministers were held. It is then called Imperial Palace of Malmaison. At the end of 1802, Joséphine returned to the castle, which became his after his divorce in 1809. After his death in 1814, his son Eugène inherited it but his widow sold the estate to the Swedish banker Jonas Hagerman in 1828. In 1842 Queen Christina of Spain acquires it by way of residence and then yields it to Napoleon III. The war-torn estate was sold by the State to Daniel Iffla in 1896. The rich patron of the site arranged the site with the help of the architect Pierre Humbert. He bequeathed it to the French state in 1904.
What to see in the Castle of Malmaison
The Castle of Malmaison, now a national museum, is one of the major attractions of the Hauts-de-Seine department. It is classified as a Historical Monument and its park qualified as a Remarkable Garden. The house of Malmaison is one of the rare examples of the consular palace of the period which retains its authenticity. Passing the threshold, visitors gradually enter the intimacy of the illustrious occupants of the castle. The collection is rich: X armchairs in precious wood and draped in red, the luxurious tea service of Empress Josephine, the piano of Queen Hortense, not forgetting the paintings that line the walls as well as the furniture and other private collections of the Emperor. The exterior is magnified by the ornamental plants, fruit of the passion of Madame Bonaparte, nicknamed the Empress of the roses.
Louis Vuitton Foundation
The Louis Vuitton business foundation is a center for the promotion of art and culture created by the LVMH group. Its construction is motivated by the perpetuation of the patronage of Bernard Arnault and his houses of luxury goods. It is a modern building designed by the architect Frank Gehry. The Pritzker Prize winner, who has designed the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Experiment Music Project and the Vitra Design Museum. The Foundation is located in the heart of the Acclimatization Garden, on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne at 8 Avenue Mahatma Gandhi. It is a jewel of modernity similar to sailboat of glass sailing through the ocean of park greenery. Its auditorium has 350 seats and 1000 seats standing. Its interior space is spread over 4 000 m². 3,000 people worked for the project. A slab 200 m long and 3 m thick was cast at 20 meters from the ground as the bearing axis of the building. The steel hulls of the exhibition halls are covered with Ductal, a white concrete with a very soft texture. The glass envelopes of 13,500 m² were manufactured in Italy in special ovens and the glass panels were set in the Czech Republic. The larch wood beams come from the Black Forest and prepared in Austria. The outline of the museum floor is covered with Burgundy stone.
What to see at the Louis Vuitton Foundation
The building is a jewel of architecture that stands in the heart of Paris, next to its green lung. It is a private museum open to the public. It organizes a permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions with different themes. The exhibition can be devoted to a particular artist as well as to events created the Louis Vuitton business or one of its houses in the auditorium. It is open from 12:00 to 19:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; from 12 pm to 9 pm on Friday; from 11 am to 8 pm on Saturday and Sunday and closed on Tuesdays.
The Mont Valerien, Memorial
Presentation and history
Mont Valerien is a hill in the department of Hauts-de-Seine. It spans three communes namely Suresnes, Nanterre and Rueil-Malmaison. It is two kilometers west of Paris and culminates at 162 m. It is famous for the eponymous fortress to the south of which is the Combatant Memorial of France, erected in honor of all the dead of the Second World War. The fortress is a fort of five sides built between 1840 and 1846 during the reign of Louis-Philippe.
Before the fortress was erected, the mountain served as a popular pilgrimage site. The priests of the Calvary settled there in the seventeenth century before the congregation was permanently suppressed in 1791. Napoleon ordered the church and the convent to be razed in 1800 because of the suspicions of the secret meetings against him. In 1812, Napoleon entrusted to the architect Nicolas Jacques Antoine Vestier the construction of buildings which would serve as house of education of young girls of the Legion of honor. In 1816, the Society of the Missions of France received an authorization from Louis XVIII to settle in the said buildings. In 1824, the priests of this mission opened a cemetery on the site. It is Louis-Philippe who integrates Mont Valérien in the network of fortifications of Paris.
What to see on Mont Valerien
The German authorities established in France during the Second World War used the fortress as the principal place of execution, where more than a thousand hostages and resistance fighters were killed. The Memorial is a memorial to these men and women. Since 1946, a ceremony of the order of the Liberation is celebrated on the place every 18 June. In 1958, the President of the Republic, General de Gaulle gave orders to erect a monument there. It is a pink sandstone wall of Vosges 150 m long in the middle of which is a cross of Lorraine 12 m high and a crypt of 17 vaults where rest 16 fighters.
Minivan service from CDG airport to Castle of Malmaison
To reach the Castle of Malmaison from CDG airport, you have to drive for about 40 minutes. Following the direction of the west, the minivan will continue on 220 meters to reach Roissy-en-France. It is then necessary to borrow A1 / E19 in order to reach La Courneuve. On A86, the car will drive about 23 km to enter Rueil-Malmaison. By taking exit 34, the journey continues in Avenue Napoléon Bonaparte. Thereafter, turn left. From Delille Avenue, you just have to reach the castle on foot which is less than 200 meters away.