Our headquarters are located within a solid twelfth-century priory founded by the order of Saint-Augustin in 1137 and established in the Jura (France).
Completely renovated by Sonja and Bernard Aubertin, the priory is host to an organ manufacturer as well as our editions. This historically charged place has held its ground through many wars. It suffered looting during the wars of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In 1587, only one monk remained in Courtefontaine. The buildings were victims of looting, deterioration, and fires; in 1595, the priory was ransacked by the runners of Henri IV. In 1636, soldiers from Condé burned down the monastery. Sold as national property during the French Revolution, the buildings were bought up by the Clergy during the Restoration and, around 1817, granted to Monseigneur de Chamon, Bishop of Saint-Claude, who founded a school. This institution, run by the Brothers of Mary, would see a consistent increase in its student body, allowing for the construction of new buildings on the property.
In 1829, the Bishop would found the first teacher training institute in the Jura. in 1840, the rear wing was built, and the school was managed by the Marianist brothers. In 1881, there was a notorious expansion. However, the law of associations of 1901 would hasten the disappearance of the school, which ultimately closed in 1903. From 1907 to 1923, a small seminary was run out of the priory, then a retirement home (Saint Cassien Institute) would operate on the grounds until 1934. Transforming into a military hospital in 1939, the old priory was requisitioned by the Germans in 1940. In 1941, the Institution of Sainte-Marie and the Marianistes would retake possession of the priory, the last among them finally departing the property in 1951. After having been used as a summer campground and ultimately a chicken farm, the old priory (partially in ruins by this time) was purchased in 1978 by Bernard Aubertin. He bought the property for the purpose of setting up his organ factory manufacturing business.
At the entrance of the priory, an enormous oak tree shades the old presbytery. It is said to have been planted during the French conquest in 1678.