A little history of Malijai castle
Napoleon I spent a night here, on March 4th 1815... He ran away from his Elbe island, and wanted to come back in the lime light! Grasse, Castellane, Digne, Malijai... it’s the famous route Napoléon ("Napoleon's road").
Then, Lyon, and finally on March 20th, he reached the Tuileries in Paris. Napoleon wanted to rule again, but the Waterloo defeat broke all his dreams... He abdicated on June 22th 1815... and went to Saint-Helena, in exile!
And what about the castle? A first fortress destroyed by Saracens was mentioned for the first time in 1381.
The current castle dates back to the 17th century, when a councillor of Aix Parliament, Melchior de Mazargues, owned the estate in 1632. He immediately raised his own castle, next to the old medieval fortress. Fell to Pierre-Vincent Noguier in 1766, they added a floor and completely refit out the castle: a huge hall, vast rooms with big windows, overlooking terraces and gardens...
Really, the inner decoration was amazing: stucco, fine panelling... Noguier, who was very rich, was ruined after that! The last member of the family, Adrien, relaid out the garden in 1840. And finally the city owned the castle in 1970, and the city hall moved in.