Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Almost back to Paris! Joséphine's Château de Malmaison, Conflans - Thursday, June 25th, Day 7

It was already Thursday!  This cruise was going so we had two different included options for our morning. We could either go to visit Van Gogh's Auvers-sur-Oise.  This is where Van Gogh spent his last three months. I'd heard this was a great tour! Or we could go to visit the palace that Josephine purchased for Napoleon and herself, the Château de Malmaison. Carol and I decided that today would be a day of Palaces, and chose the Château.

In 1799 Joséphine purchased the run down estate while Napoléon Bonaparte was away fighting.  He wasn't too happy about the purchase, but she vowed to make Malmaison "the most beautiful and curious garden in all of Europe, a model of good cultivation".  

We toured many of the rooms of the Château which was restored in the early 20th century.

Joséphine's dinner service

Joséphine's personal toiletries

The luxurious bedchamber of Joséphine

And then we have Joséphine's common chamber

The billiard room

and the music room

The library

The dining room

The gardens are nothing like what they once were.  As a matter of fact, at one time there was a heated orangery, over 300 pineapple plants, and Joséphine cultivated over 200 plants in France for the first time. She grew over 250 varieties of roses and the property was known for the rose garden all over the country.  But in addition to the gardens, she had all different animals roaming throughout, including kangaroos, black swans, zebras, emus, sheep, llamas, and gazelles to name a few!  It must have been quite the palace!

We enjoyed our visit quite a bit.  It was time to head back to the ship for lunch, and then we had a visit planned to the palace of all palaces!   

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