Chateau de la Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, France (cont'd)
In 1799, Josephine bought a three-story country cottage just outside Paris. Napoleon, still five years away from crowning himself Emperor of France, was off fighting in Egypt, so Josephine took on the task of transforming the house into a grand home. With the help of architects Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine—and 3 million francs—she created a Roman-inspired interior that became the most-copied of its time, a perfect representation of the fashionable Empire style. The couple divorced in 1809, but Napoleon allowed Josephine to continue to live at her beloved chateau until her death in 1814. The house is open to the public.