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$5.6M Buys the Comely Garden Retreat of Napoleon's First Wife

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A part of the Château de Malmaison, the country estate that Napoleon's first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais, bought for them in 1799, has been put on the market for €4.45M ($5.65M). The orangerie, which was converted to a private residence around 1830, has had a long succession of owners since 1814, when Joséphine's died, four years after Napoleon divorced her for not bearing him any children. The current owners have lightly updated the 5,380-square-foot, 15-room house, repainting the exterior, replacing the floors with new oak panels, updating the heating and electrical systems, and most importantly (let's be real), installing fibre-optic cables for faster internet.

Not most important but certainly up there are original details like the Empire-period mural in the dining room depicting Joséphine's native Antilles. If that weren't regal enough, the Times reports that "tone sphinxes preside over a small terrace off the living room," and a "Napoleonic eagle preens from the ironwork balustrade of the main stone staircase." The dreaminess continues in the eight bedrooms, each overlooking some section of the 1.3 acres of Joséphine's gardens that come with the property, which borders the grounds of the Château de Malmaison, now a Napoleonic musée national.


Rueil Malmaison [Daniel Feau via NYT]