The nineteenth century was coming to an end when Baron James Edouard de Rothschild fell in love with the grounds of Les Fontaines, a vast, romantic garden north of Paris. He started building the château.
The Rothschild family, who were passionate about building, went on to create what is today called “Le Goût Rothschild” or Rothschild taste – homes with a perfect blend of Renaissance and Victorian styles. The Campus château combines, for example, a neo-Louis XIII style facade, neo-Gothic turrets reminiscent of the architecture of the Place des Vosges buildings in Paris, and Victorian-influenced bow windows. In a small regional touch and echoing the craze of Parisian high society for Normandy’s seaside resorts in the late 19th century, the Norman Farm – a charming half-timbered house inspired by Deauville’s villas – adds a bucolic touch in the heart of the park, delighting visitors who come here to work or have lunch during their corporate events.
Builders … but also patrons
The Baroness de Rothschild, who completed the building of the château after her husband’s death, dedicated her life to good works, creating a hospital, schools and social services in Gouvieux. She then bequeathed the area of Les Fontaines to her son Henry.
He inherited the two passions of his parents: medicine and old books. He co-founded the League Against Cancer and, in parallel, opened a library in Gouvieux, although he continued to cherish the one patiently built up by his father.
150 years after the birth of the château, the Campus at Les Fontaines still continues the work of the Rothschild family. By focusing on acquiring and sharing knowledge, and through its civic commitment, especially towards the environment, it perpetuates the site’s soul and primary purpose, to which it seemed predestined.