Les Fontaines: WWII

An observation bunker in Les Fontaines
During World War II, the Rothschilds went into exile in Switzerland, in Lausanne.

Les Fontaines was then occupied by the Germans who made it an observation base for the Luftwaffe. They built a bunker then, which is still there today. It is located behind the logistics area in the park and hidden under thick vegetation. This bunker is rare in Europe because it is not a defense bunker but an observation and administration bunker. So, there is no apparent opening. The staff responsible for it oversaw organizing the air defense of French territory and southern Belgium. To monitor the sky, assess and identify incursion threats, and determine the most suitable aftershock, it had the most recent high-tech equipment.

The castle and its outbuildings were used as offices. Officers were housed in Chantilly and Gouvieux. At the height of the war, up to 1,000 people worked in 3 × 8s at the site.

To find out more, we invite you to consult the book by Jean-Yves Bonnard, history teacher and mayor of Chiry-Ourscamp, 39/45 dans l’Oise, published in 2004 by editions Cap Régions, which devotes a few lines to the bunker of the Fountains.

The bunker is currently condemned because it is dangerous. The interior is indeed damp and run down. Little remains of how it was laid out, used and organized as the Germans destroyed the interior before leaving.


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