Rueil-Malmasion is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, approximately 12 miles west of the center of Paris.
Rueil-Malmaison was originally just called Rueil which goes back to Celtic origin. Than in 1928 it became officially Rueil-Malmasion in reference to its most famous attraction, the Chateau de Malmasion, home of Napoleon and his first wife Josephine de Beauharnais. After their divorce Josephine lived there till her death in 1814. She was buried in the nearby Saint Pierre-Saint Paul church, which is located at the city center. Malmasion became known for its gardens which Josephine endeavored to make the best in Europe. She not only created a garden with rare and exotic plants, but animals as well including kangaroos, black swans, zebras, gazelles, sheep, ostriches and others. Her roses gained particular fame and were well documented in paintings and books. Today the home is a national museum.
The Rueil barracks of the Swiss Guard were constructed in 1756 under Louis XV by the architect Axel Guillaumot, and have been classified Monument historique since 1973. The Guard was formed by Louis XIII in 1616 and massacred at the Tuileries on 10 August 1792 during the French Revolution.
At the end of the 19th century, Impressionist painters like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet and Claude Monet came to paint the Seine River which crosses the town.
The main campus of the French Institute of Petroleum-Research organization is in Rueil. The city has also become home to many large companies. 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. Several major French companies have their world headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison, such as Schneider Electric (Telemecanique) and VINCI. Several large international companies have also located their French headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison, such as ExxonMobil, AstraZeneca, American Express and Unilever.
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