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The Pagerie Museum
The Pagerie Museum
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It is said that behind every man's success is a woman. Napoleon was no exception to the rule and shared his life with an extraordinary woman: Josephine de Beauharnais. Her aura and charisma helped forge the legend of her husband. Joséphine de Beauharnais lived her youth in Martinique, in a paradisiacal estate overlooking the Caribbean: the Domaine de la Pagerie. 

La Pagerie, or the museum of Empress Josephine

The Empress Josephine Museum is sure to make for an excellent afternoon during your trip to Martinique. Between nature, adventure and history, it invites you to discover another era.

Located on the former site of the 500-hectare estate, the Musée de la Pagerie is entirely devoted to this extraordinary woman. A unique personality, who defied all the traditions of her time and left her mark on French history.

The Musée de la Pagerie is located in Trois-Ilets, on the very spot where Josephine spent her first 15 years. This historical monument was once known as "Petite Guinée".

Sugar cane, cotton and cocoa were grown here. It also used the labor of over 200 to 300 slaves at its peak during the 18ᵉ century.

The Domaine de la Pagerie is more than a tribute to one of the most famous women in French history. It is also a memorial to the slavery that took place in the West Indies at that time. 

A break in history, the time of a visit

The visit begins in the mill that was once used for the distillation of sugar cane crops. A number of buildings on the estate have not withstood the ravages of time. A cyclone in 1766 destroyed a large part of the original buildings. Josephine was 3 years old at the time and lived with her family in the remains of the estate for the next few years.

After passing through the mill, the visitor can discover the Museum of La Pagerie, in the former kitchen of the main building. There he will have the opportunity to examine a wide variety of objects, possessions of the young Josephine.

The stone walls and pink tiles of the museum contain many treasures. Among them are Josephine's maiden bed, her correspondence with Napoleon, furniture and some portraits.

The estate is also home to a lush garden with many tropical plants. The curious can admire statues of the empress, including a magnificent bust. The flower gardens, populated by hummingbirds, are particularly pleasant. It is the ideal place to relax with family or friends, to mix culture and pleasure.

It is also possible to enter another emblematic place, the small church of Trois-Ilets. It was in this church that Josephine's parents were married and where she herself was baptized in 1763. The building also contains the tomb of the Empress' mother, Rose-Claire Vergers de Sanois.

Finally, visitors can discover the ruins of the old sugar factory, the last vestiges of the estate, during their walk in the gardens.

A guide will accompany you at each step of the visit. You will be able to benefit from detailed explanations on the customs of the time, the use of buildings and objects... Without forgetting small anecdotes on Josephine.

If you wish to learn more about this historical figure during your trip to Martinique, don't miss the Empress Josephine Museum.

This green setting, a memorial to slavery and a witness to a stormy and controversial page of history, will take you through the ages. Escape for a stroll in a typically Martinique nature, between sun, tropics and heavenly landscapes!

The museums of the island of Martinique

Some activities to do in Martinique