During the war the Les Fontaines estate was requisitioned by the German army as a communications center. The large park still bears witness to this troubled period: an observation bunker, now condemned.

A cultural and spiritual center

In 1946 the war was over. Henri de Rothschild, the owner of the estate, decides to sell the site which will be acquired by the Jesuits, a Catholic religious order, that will turn Les Fontaines into an education  center. The site hosted around a hundred students and some thirty teachers and researchers. Above all it housed a phenomenal library of over 500,000 books; one of the largest private libraries in Europe at the time.

Many young people were also welcomed for holidays and the estate was open to the public, providing a pleasant destination for a walk.

In the 1980s the education center was moved to Paris and Les Fontaines diversified its activities; the location became a cultural center open to the public and numerous partnerships with the new University of Amiens were born there. A few corporate seminars also started to be organized there…

Towards a new chapter

But the place was not suited to the needs of clients, many of whom came from abroad, and over the years it became clear it needed investment that would have been hard to justify. So the Jesuit community started to think about handing over the baton.

In 1998 Capgemini Group acquired the estate, turning a new page in the history of Les Fontaines. The vast library was transferred to Lyon, and the transformation work could begin.

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