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Rueil-Malmaison, town (1990 pop. 67,323), Hauts-de-Seine dept., N central France. It is an industrial center where metals, armaments, photographic equipment, film, pharmaceuticals, and automobile accessories are produced. Food products are also manufactured there. The town was originally a resort of the Merovingian kings (5th-7th cent.). It was bought by Cardinal Richelieu, who built an estate there and who carried on extensive construction during the early 17th cent. Napoleon lived there from 1800 to 1804 and the Empress Josephine and her daughter are buried in the town. Napoleon's home, the famous Malmaison, is now a museum housing artifacts from the Napoleonic period.

Rueil-Malmaison (or ) is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 12.6 km. (7.8 miles) from the center of Paris.


Rueil-Malmaison was originally called simply Rueil. In Medieval times the name Rueil was spelled either Roialum, Riogilum, Rotoialum, Ruolium, or Ruellium. This name is made of the Celtic word ialo (meaning "clearing, glade", "place of") suffixed to a radical meaning "brook, stream" (Latin rivus, Old French ), or maybe to a radical meaning "ford" (Celtic ritu).

In 1928 the name of the commune officially became Rueil-Malmaison in reference to its most famous tourist attraction, the Château de Malmaison, home of Napoléon's first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais.

The name Malmaison comes from Medieval Latin mala mansio, meaning "ill-fated domain", "estate of ill luck". In the Early Middle Ages Malmaison was the site of a royal residence which was destroyed by the Vikings in 846, hence the name.


Rueil is famous for the Château de Malmaison where Napoleon and his first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais lived. Upon her death in 1814 she was buried at the nearby St. Pierre and St. Paul church, which lies at the centre of the city.

The Rueil barracks of the Swiss Guard was constructed in 1756 under Louis XV by the architect Axel Guillaumot, and has been a listed Historic Monument since 1973. The Guard was formed by Louis XIII in 1616 and massacred at the Tuileries on 10 August 1792.

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, Rueil was located on the front line.

At the end of the 19th century famous painters like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet and Claude Monet came to paint the Seine which crosses the town.




The main campus of the French Institute of Petroleum research organisation is in Rueil. The city has also become home to many large companies moving out of La Défense business district, located only 5 km. (3 miles) from Rueil, a trend first established by the move of Esso headquarters to Rueil.

There are about 850 service sector companies located in Rueil, 70 of which employ more than 100 people. A business district called Rueil-sur-Seine (previously known as "Rueil 2000") was created near the RER A Rueil-Malmaison station to accommodate these companies. The business district is equipped with a fiber-optic network.

Several major French companies have their world headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison, such as Schneider Electric and VINCI. Several large international companies have also located their French headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison, such as ExxonMobil,AstraZeneca and Unilever.


Rueil-Malmaison is served by Rueil-Malmaison station on Paris RER line A.


The famous Château de Malmaison, home of Napoléon's first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais, is located in Rueil-Malmaison. The public may visit the manor house as a Napoleonic musée national, with guided tours available.

Twin towns

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