Grenoble Travel Guide, Isère, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Grenoble is a town in south-eastern France, capital of the department of Isère, former capital of Dauphiné. Grenoble is the prefecture and largest city of the Isère department, It lies at the foot of the French Alps where the river Drac joins the Isère. A significant European scientific centre, the city advertises itself as the “Capital of the Alps”, due to its size and its proximity to the mountains.

Arts, Hi-Tech and Sport are the three words that best characterize this agglomeration of nearly 500,000 inhabitants which combines the infrastructures of a modern city with the superb setting of the high Alpine mountains that surround it. The city has grown to be one of Europe’s most important research, technology and innovation centres, with each fifth inhabitant working directly in these domains.

Grenoble is a city known for its writers and artists, native or passing, like Stendhal, Debelle, Hache, Hébert… Many museums in Grenoble and its surrounding region bear witness to their works. The Musée de Grenoble (located in the heart of the city, Place Notre Dame and the stop of the same name for tram B and bus) has a large collection of modern works, but also more classic collections and a park with many statues.

Grenoble is a very active city with three universities (with more than 60,000 students), an international management school, nine engineering schools, several public and private research centers, focusing in particular on new technologies (synchrotron, MINATEC, LETI). Most of these research organizations are concentrated north of Grenoble in what is called the scientific polygon.

Grenoble is also one of the most sporting city in France, where weekends are turned towards the surrounding nature. Grenoble gives quick access to winter sports resorts – possible on the three massifs: Belledonne, Chartreuse and Vercors – and can be a stopover towards the larger ones, or even towards the hiking trails of Belledonne and Chartreuse.

Grenoble’s history goes back over 2,000 years, to a time when it was a small Gallic village. It became the capital of the Dauphiné in the 11th century. Industrial development increased the prominence of Grenoble through several periods of economic expansion over the last three centuries. This started with a booming glove industry in the 18th and 19th centuries, continued with the development of a strong hydropower industry in the late 19th to early 20th centuries and ended with a post-World War II economic boom symbolized by the holding of the Olympic Winter Games in 1968.

A handful of houses on the left bank of the Isère in the 1st century BC. JC gathered around the name of Cularo to GIANT and the eco-districts.

From either side of the Isere, go down first to the basement to find the oldest sites in the city: St. crypt Oyand nestled in the ancient church of St. Lawrence and Baptistery of III th century have made a splash to welcome archeology and ancient history enthusiasts. It is then in the footsteps of François de Bonne, Duke of Lesdiguières, that must be followed: this strong soldier seized Grenoble in 1590 and consolidated its military architecture: ramparts, construction of the Bastille, and modernization of the city.

The story then jumps until 1788 and the famous Tile Day, which anchors Grenoble as a rebel city – the riots, the beginnings of the French Revolution take place on June 7, 1788: the Grenoblois parliamentarians will face the Royal Guard with roof tiles. Wink: a young witness to the scene will relate it later in “the life of Henry Brûlard” – it is none other than Stendhal…

Napoleon, passing through the city in 1815 on the occasion of the Hundred Days, will inaugurate the road that bears his name.

Grenoble innovative industrial city spreads its wings from the XIX th century, with the development of hydropower, glover industry and cement. The high point of this era, the International Exhibition of 1925, devoted, that cannot be invented, to the White Coal and to Tourism.

The Second World War will revive its rebellious spirit and resistance – Grenoble receives the Medal of Companion of the Liberation.

Grenoble’s scientific spirit prevailed after the war with the opening of research institutes and then of the university, finally the Olympic Winter Games in 1968 gave a sporting boost to the expansion of the city.

Always innovative, Grenoble inaugurated its tramway in 1987, then welcomed the Synchrotron in 1994. Today, it is the eco-districts that take over from the history to be built.

Historical heritage
Grenoble has 33 monuments listed in the inventory of historical monuments, 6 places and monuments listed in the general inventory of cultural heritage and one monument labeled Heritage in Isère. The city has been labeled city of art and history since July 27, 2017.

Grenoble remained a city close to a border and fortified by walls until the last quarter of the xix th century, which explains the relatively small size of its historic center. It remains nonetheless attractive and rich in numerous works that bear witness to the history of the city.

The old town
The city center of Grenoble conceals many assets to charm the visitor. And first of more than a thousand years of history to contemplate, since the 10 th century the Notre Dame Cathedral in the building of the Progress 19 th century. The heart of town will refresh the walker in the shade of the hundred-year-old plane trees of the Jardin de Ville, a stone’s throw from Stendhal’s birthplace. Pastel facades smeared with sunlight, terraces, trellises, a real fragrance of dolce vita floats over the Jardin de Ville.

The heart of the city is also criss-crossed by bike: meeting friends, on the banks of the Isère, along the Saint-Laurent district, recently refurbished for better strolling. The heart of the city is home to museums that give pride of place to history and make it accessible to all visitors.

Among the places of interest can be first mentioned the Place Grenette. In the heart of the historic and commercial center, the Grenoble grain fairs were once held there (hence its name). Today it is lined with restaurants and brasseries. From here, the Grande Rue, which was the ancient Roman road, leads to Place Saint-André, where the statue of the knight Bayard is located, as well as the Palace of the Dauphiné parliament, the oldest part of which dates back to the xv th century. Its facade confronts several styles and materials, witnesses of its different periods of construction. A little further on is the Place aux Herbes with its market. Formerly called Place du Mal-Conseil, it was traditionally in the Middle Ages the place of popular power in Grenoble, where the people of Grenoble met to discuss the affairs of the city.

Further west are the City garden (part of which is due to Le Nôtre), the tower of the Treasury (xiv th century) and the old hotel Lesdiguières, built in 1602 by the architect Pierre La Cuisse (formerly town hall and now Maison de l’International). the City Garden also contains the lower station of the city cable car.

The old town of Grenoble is also full of mansions that recall its past as a parliamentary precinct. The hotel of Pierre Bucher, (procurator general of the king and dean of the University of Grenoble), rue Brocherie, which has two parts, can in particular be cited here. The oldest, built in 1560 on three levels with twin bays enhanced with medallions, testifies to the profound change in the architecture of this period, which went from Gothic to Renaissance. Part of street with her beautiful carriage entrance and facade with mezzanine is representative of the xviii th century.

Also, the Hôtel d’Ornacieux, known as the Maison de Vaucanson, rue Chenoise, built after 1620, has a certain historical interest. A two-tone stone portal provides access to the courtyard and its main staircase, one of the most beautiful in the Rhône-Alpes region. In this hotel lived Jacques de Vaucanson, famous mechanic and inventor of automatons. The hotel of François Marc (adviser to the Parliament of Grenoble), rue Barnave, dating from 1490, has a pointed arch portal enhanced with a shield carved with a lion (symbol of the evangelist Marc), porch ribbed vault and ancient Gothic windows on the square courtyard.

At 10 rue Chenoise is a hotel of xv th centuryin late Gothic style with a well restored facade and interior courtyard; at 16 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau finally, Coupier Maille hotel dating from the xvii th century has a monumental wooden door. In addition, the apartment of Doctor Gagnon (Stendhal’s grandfather), Grande Rue, has been open since September 15, 2012 as a new Stendhal museum.

Like other outstanding monuments, it is worth mentioning the Island Tour, dating from the xiv th century (first Grenoble hotel today Annex Grenoble museum houses the collection of drawings) and the Stendhal high school built the xvii th century (former Jesuit College, Raoul Blanchard Street). In 1673, Father Bonfa painted a solar clock there, helped by his pupils. It is a fresco covering 100 m 2walls and ceilings in the main staircase. This reflective sundial still works perfectly: with the help of a mirror placed on the window, the sun is reflected and gives a luminous spot which, passing over the lines of the ceiling and walls, indicates the solar time, the month and zodiac sign. It also makes it possible to know the time in all the Jesuit schools in the world. Its dimensions and its astronomical interest make it a unique work in the world.

On the other side of the Isère, on the right bank, in the Saint-Laurent district (Grenoble’s “Italian” district with, among other things, its many pizzerias), the Saint-Laurent gate (rebuilt in 1615 on the order of Lesdiguières) and the Porte de France. The Saint-Laurent footbridge, suspended over the Isère, dates from 1837 and is approximately at the site where the Romans built the first bridge over the Isère in 43 BC. At 97 rue Saint-Laurent, the former mint is a beautiful building from the early xvi th century. The Dolphins minted gold and silver coins of the same value as the coins of the Kingdom., but to their weapons. The building has retained its Renaissance corridor with ribbed vaults. In the courtyard, a portal surmounted by a triangular pediment framed by two columns gives access to a spiral staircase. Each floor also has Italian-style passageways.

Further south lies the farm of Vaulnaveys (or turn Prémol), the Olympic Village, built of the xii th century.

Industrial era
Grenoble underwent a major expansion to the west and south beyond its walls during the xix th century, following the economic development of the city. The city center increased considerably and it was the occasion to modernize and build districts in the architectural styles of the time intended to accommodate the administrative services and the new industrial bourgeoisie of Grenoble.

This extension was made to the south around Place de Verdun, the former Place d’Armes and center of administrative power in the city. It is surrounded by remarkable limestone buildings, representative of the era of the Second Empire, such as the prefecture of Isère, the old museum-library, the mountain troops hotel, the old university, as well as as streets and buildings of the xix th century.

The extension of the city center to the west was done a little later around the Place Victor Hugo (where a statue of Hector Berlioz is located), with the piercing of the major urban arteries that are the Boulevard Édouard Rey or the avenue Alsace-Lorraine. Many buildings in the Haussmann style can be admired there, most of them being made of concrete (called at the time “molded cement” and of which Grenoble was the cradle). Among the most remarkable are the “elephant” building on rue Félix Poulat, the “au griffon” building at the corner of rue Molière and boulevard Édouard-Rey or even the “Coupole dauphinoise” avenue Alsace-Lorraine.

It was also during this period that the Halles, place Sainte-Claire, were built in the style of the old halls of Paris.

The Bouchayer-Viallet district, for its part, bears witness to the industrial past of the city with the small Halle, recently rehabilitated following the redevelopment of the district, the former Cémoi factory, or the National Center for Contemporary Art: built hall by the Eiffel workshops for the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1900, it was bought by the Grenoble manufacturers Bouchayer and Viallet, dismantled and transported to Grenoble. It is distinguished by its riveted metal structure, characteristic of the Eiffel workshops, and the large glass roof.

Works from the xx th century
The Grenoble heritage has also been expanded numerous monuments dating from the xx th century, one of the most emblematic being the cable car of Grenoble. The Paul-Mistral park, created with the international exhibition of 1925, for its part retains the Perret tower, a vestige of this symbolic event of Grenoble’s industrial development. The park also concentrates many works dating from the upheaval of the Olympic Games. The helical garage in the historic city center is also of note, a masterpiece of art deco in reinforced cement.

The town hall, inaugurated at the end of 1967, houses a large number of works of art commissioned from renowned artists (such as a mosaic of marble tesserae made by Charles Gianferrari or a tapestry by Raoul Ubac, woven by the workshops of Gobelins). Arriving from the Grands Boulevards, the entrance to the park is marked by the presence of the Olympic cauldron, a veritable vestige of the Olympic past of the Alpine metropolis. She was turned back at the passage of the Olympic flame of the Olympic Winter Games of 1992 and 2006, as well as for the celebration of the 40 years of the Olympic Games in February 2008. It should also be noted the presence of the Sports Palace, of remarkable technical complexity, in particular by its structure consisting of two cylindrical reinforced concrete vaults overlapping at right angles, self-supporting and completely independent of the facades of the building.

The development of the Olympic village and the Villeneuve district also strongly marked the urban face of the agglomeration. Grenoble also has other remarkable works dating from the “Trente Glorieuses” such as, among others, the great boulevards and their architecture, covering developments ranging from the 1930s to the 1960s, the imposing Trois Tours de l’Île-verte (which became the tallest residential towers in Europe upon completion), the S-shaped building and the Maison de la Culture, inaugurated by André Malraux.

On the other hand, many works of contemporary art currently cover the city, whether at the station (Calder), in the Paul-Mistral park or in the Albert Michallon park. Finally, more recent constructions such as the painting museum and the Alps stadium are undoubtedly important works in the architectural heritage of the city.

The Cable Car
Embrace the metropolis of Grenoble and its valley at a glance by boarding the Cable Car. The first urban cable car in France, it was inaugurated in 1934, before being transformed into “bubbles” shape in 1976. These round cabins with translucent walls take you in five minutes to the fortifications of the Bastille, at an altitude of nearly 500 meters..

Footstep of the Chartreuse massif, the Bastille is the starting point for beautiful alpine races, on foot or by mountain bike. Discover the Terrasse des géologues which overlooks the foothills of the Prealps: Vercors and Chartreuse. The Vauban belvedere offers a breathtaking view of the Belledonne massif, with Mont Blanc in the distance. The rooms the interior of the fortifications have been specially requalified to accommodate seminars and galas.

Religious heritage
The city has an important religious heritage, linked to the ancient presence of many convents and testimony to the considerable influence that the bishops of the city had, because, spiritual leaders of the diocese, they were for several centuries also holders of temporal power. in rivalry with the Dolphins. The spatial arrangement makes it possible to account for these two areas of power: on one side of the city, the episcopal group around Notre-Dame cathedral and its square, symbol of the power of the bishops; on the other, the delphinal district with the Saint-André collegiate church and the Palace of the Parliament, symbol of the power of the Dolphins. “Two squares, two jurisdictions, two bell towers which gaze at each other with urgency”.

Group bishopric cathedral, place Notre Dame
Made up of the Notre-Dame cathedral and the Saint-Hugues church, (which forms with it a double church), as well as by the old episcopal palace and the remains of the baptistery, the cathedral group is a complex whole, the parts of which of the oldest buildings date back to the xii th and xiii th centuries. This cathedral in the choir of the largest ciboria of France (late Gothic of the xv th century, reaching fifteen meters high). Clérieux tower, dating from the ix th century, is visible from the square Notre Dame.

The former episcopal palace, museum of the Old Bishop’s Palace since September 1998, has a beautiful entrance portal, a monumental staircase with a wrought iron banister. The current building dates from the xviii th century, but previous elements (Middle Ages) were preserved in the floors and above are visible in the basement since 1999 the remains of the Gallo-Roman of the iii E century, and baptistery early Christian time used between iv th and x th centuries (rediscovered in 1989, at the time of construction of the line B of the trolley

Collegiate St. Andrew Place Saint-André
Dating from the early xiii th century, the Collegiate Church Saint-André is one of the first Gothic buildings of the city and houses since 1822 the high mausoleum Chevalier Bayard, died in 1524.

It was the dolphin Guigues-André who, from 1228, launched its construction in the heart of the delphinal district, place of power for dolphins in the Middle Ages, to install the chapter of canons that he had founded two years earlier, and thus assert his power over that of the bishop. With its 56 meters, the steeple of St. Andrew remained the highest building of the city since its construction until the second half of the xix th century.

Other religious buildings
Among the other buildings in the town, let us quote the Saint-Louis church, rue Félix-Poulat. Built from 1689 to 1699, at the instigation of M Camus, on a site near the city walls and barracks and given theJune 28, 1685by Louis XIV, who also awarded three successive grants of 36,000 pounds, based on plans by Claude Mollard.

Other buildings were made following successive extensions of the city from the xix th century. The Berriat district is dominated by the silhouette of the Saint-Bruno church, place Saint-Bruno. Dedicated to Bruno le Chartreux, founder of the first monastery of the Grande Chartreuse, it was opened for worship in 1879. It was the first church built to the west of the city in the new working-class and working-class districts and, with its 67 meters, became the tallest building in town. Near the Grenoble train station is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Place Doyen Gosse. Built between 1917 and 1924, this basilica is aex-voto of the city. Its bell tower remains unfinished. It houses a stone Christ made by sculptor Émile Gilioli in 1942, as well as 25 paintings by artist Marie Adomi Israel. The year 1924 also marks the consecration of the Saint-Joseph basilica located on Place de Metz, in the city center and which replaces the Saint-Joseph church.

More recently was built from 1963 to 1965 the Church of St. John, boulevard Joseph Vallier. This church is certainly, by its original circular shape perched on stilts, the most striking recent religious building in Grenoble. The roof is surmounted by a large lantern comprising nine bays with a cross above, reaching a height of 27 meters. Two years later, the Saint-Luc church was inaugurated on the Île Verte. An unusual detail, it is part of an architectural complex comprising the church below and an apartment building above.

Converted buildings
Many other religious buildings in Grenoble have also seen their use vary over the years. Today, many of them have become important places of local cultural life. The former Saint-Laurent church has, for example, become the Grenoble Saint-Laurent archaeological museum. This is an archaeological complex website xi th century in the Saint-Laurent. The “crypt” St. Oyand (beginning of the vi th century) is a very precious and rare monuments of the Middle Ages in France still standing.

The former monastery of the Visitandines of Sainte-Marie-d’en-Haut, founded in 1618, became for its part after a history full of vicissitudes the Dauphinois museum. Inside, the Chapel of the Visitation, a true jewel of French Baroque art, received in 1662 a large altarpiece in gilded wood, a gift from François de Bonne de Créqui, and in 1666 a superb decoration of trompe- frescoes. the eye owed to the painter Toussaint Largeot, to celebrate the canonization of François de Sales.

Similar destiny for the old chapel of Sainte-Marie-d’en-Bas, rue Très Cloîtres, transformed into a theater. Built in 1652, the facade has a beautiful portal framed by twin columns bearing an entablature and fire pots, enhanced with a pattern of radiating clouds.

Founded in 1646, the former Minimes Convent, rue du Vieux Temple, has had an eventful history. Today the buildings house the student’s home, and the old chapel has been transformed into a concert hall (Olivier Messiaen room) for the Les Musiciens du Louvre – Grenoble orchestra and various cultural activities.

Finally, the former monastery of the Bernardines of Sainte-Cécile, rue Servan, also had to undergo a turbulent history: founded in 1624, requisitioned by the revolutionary armies in 1791 and converted into a store for the equipment of the troops, it became a cinema during the 1920s before housing a dance hall called “Hell”, then the Rio theater from 1974 to 1999. Since 2009, it has housed the headquarters of the Glénat editions, whose installation allowed the entire rehabilitation of the convent for him return to its original splendor. From now on, the chapel, the courtyard and the library of more than 20,000 works are again open to visitors. In addition, a statue bearing the effigy of Titeufnow overlooks the porch of the former convent.

Funerary heritage
Replacing the parish cemeteries previous centuries, the first municipal cemetery was created in 1810 under Napoleon I, and takes the name Cemetery St. Roch. It replaces a cemetery used for only ten years along the Drac, abandoned because of its distance from the fortified city and above all from alluvial land filled with gravel not very conducive to the burial of bodies. It contains 824 remarkable classified tombs, both architecturally and historically. In 1941, a second municipal cemetery of seven hectares, that of Grand Sablon, was opened on the outskirts of the city, in the town of La Tronche.. Finally, faced with the saturation of the latter, in 1995 a third intercommunal cemetery of eight hectares was opened in the municipality of Poisat.

Military heritage
The city was an important garrison place, on the border of the kingdom of France. Military heritage is still visible today in various parts of the city.

The most symbolic building of this heritage is undoubtedly the Fort de la Bastille, which still dominates the city with its imposing silhouette. It is among others composed of a watchtower built in the xvi th century and a tower flanked by two fortified with branches, mountain side of a blockhouse rider, a moat and a glaze. Its ramparts, casemates and stairs also extend over nearly three hundred meters of vertical drop to the outskirts of the old town

. Below is also the Rabot citadel, place of life of the soldiers, as well as the garden of the Dolphins. The summit fortress is also accessible by theGrenoble cable car. Finally, on either side of the site are the gates of France and Saint-Laurent.

The Alain Le Ray esplanade, the main courtyard of the former De Bonne military barracks, inaugurated in 1883, and its buildings, renovated during the development of the district, are also nowadays asserting themselves as remarkable witnesses of the past. Grenoble military. To this are also added the Alma barracks, rue Cornélie Gémond, the entrance buildings of the administrative city Dode (where is also the old powder magazine built by Vauban, rue du Commandant Lherminier, and dating from the end of the xvii th century), without forgetting the old hotel of the Division current hotel of mountain troops, instead of Verdun.

Finally, the Alpine metropolis retains within it many portions of ramparts dating from all ages. Older, Rue Lafayette and the Museum of the Old Bishopric, date back to the iii th century and are the remains of the Roman wall. Near the Museum of Grenoble remain two sections of walls of the citadel of Lesdiguieres built at the beginning of the xvi th century and the Island Tour, completed in 1418, marking only vestige of the medieval fortifications of Grenoble. Finally, several remains of the ramparts of General Haxo built in the 19th century. century remain: along Michallon Park, where several sections of the surrounding wall are preserved, but especially near Paul-Mistral Park, where an entire bastion is preserved, and this up to the old Porte Très-Cloître, whose the northern part is still existing, on the side of rue Malakoff.

Cultural heritage

Theaters and performance halls
From the xiv th century, many ” mysteries ” were played on the Place Saint-André and, for special occasions, “stories” were represented in some rooms converted into theaters. In 1658, Molière and his troupe performed in room, which was not yet considered a theater, but as the Duc de Lesdiguières’ jeu de paume room. The place became a real theater the following year in September 1768. The building adjoins another auditorium, the Grenoble Cinémathèque.

In 1952, the City gave itself the means to provide the establishment with modern equipment capable of providing comfort and ensuring the safety of spectators. The interior was completely redesigned. The efforts were mainly concentrated on acoustics and handling. The facade was demolished and brought up to date, the entrance decorated with polychrome walled frescoes in trompe-l’oeil by the artist Georges Gimel representing the artists and actors of the 1920s. The building was renovated and rejuvenated in the 2000s and the decoration of the blind stage wall was the subject of a competition; it was decorated with trompe-l’oeil windows, matching those of neighboring facades. The hall was completely redone for the opening of the 2007/2008 season with 617 new seats. The municipal theater offers around sixty performances per season.

The Grenoble theatrical scene is also present within the Maison de la culture de Grenoble. As a national stage, it includes a rehearsal studio for theater and the famous Alpine National Drama Center (CDNA) directed by Jacques Osinski (closed 1 st January 2014). It offers major works from the repertoire as well as contemporary texts, performed in turn in Grenoble, then performed on tour throughout France. Three shows punctuate each season, including one by a guest director and frequent readings of contemporary texts.

Grenoble is home to other structures such as the La Basse-cour café-theater, which focuses on comedy shows or the Théâtre 145 managed by the Tricycle collective and associated with the Théâtre de Poche. The programming of these two theaters is focused on young creation and the transversality of artistic forms. Artistic work is carried out with the inhabitants of the Berriat district (writing workshops, short story competition, spectator school, etc.). The Regards croisés festival is organized there. It has a capacity of 277 places.

In addition, Espace 600, located in La Villeneuve, is particularly specialized in young audiences. The presence of the establishment “Le 102” can also be mentioned. It is a self-managed place without subsidy, since 1983 occupying premises in agreement with the city of Grenoble. The 102 is known for its improvised music concerts as well as its experimental and documentary cinema sessions.

Music and dance
The main Grenoble institution in this area is the Maison de la Culture. Built by André Wogenscky for the Olympic Games, it reopened its doors after major rehabilitation and expansion work in 2004. Previously called Le Cargo, it then changed its name to that of MC2 (for “Maison de la Culture 2 ”). Its reception capacities are numerous and diversified since it includes a large room with 1,028 seats, an auditorium with 998 seats, a small room with 244 seats, a creation room with 494 seats as well as two dance studios and a studio. record. Since its renovation, its attendance has exceeded the 100,000 spectators per year mark. Two prestigious creation centers are associated with it, namely the National Choreographic Center for Contemporary Dance directed by Jean-Claude Gallotta and the Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble directed by Marc Minkowski.

The former chapel of the Minimes convent in Grenoble was also transformed into the Olivier Messiaen music hall where Les Musiciens du Louvre also performs. It can accommodate forty-two musicians on a stage in front of 375 spectators.

In addition to the activity of the Louvre musicians, the Morillot room in the Old Temple wing of the former convent is made available to MJCs and schools, which organize a wide variety of events. Since 1991, the site has also hosted the observatory of cultural policies, as well as some associations.

The city also has two large structures: the Grenoble sports center, which can accommodate up to 12,000 spectators, regularly hosts many artists from the national and international scene such as Elton John, Bob Dylan, Snoop Dogg and Mylène Farmer. On the other hand, the Summum is a performance hall located near Alpexpo welcoming a number of artists. Measured at 2,990 seats, it can reach 5,000 seats / standing (the “pit” is then cleared of its seats).

A concert hall for amplified music, La Belle Électrique has also been established in the Bouchayer-Viallet sector as part of its urban redevelopment. With a capacity of 1,010 places, it completes the network of broadcasting rooms and places to support practices in the metropolitan area.


Art Museums
The Musée de Grenoble, founded by Louis-Joseph Jay in 1798, is one of the largest and richest museums of French Fine Arts, whose collections cover the main periods in the history of art, Antiquity to the present day. The section of the xx th century is particularly rich since the museum is considered the oldest museum of contemporary art in France. All the trends and movements in painting are present with paintings by painters such as Georges Braque, Amedeo Modigliani, Marc Chagall or even Vassily Kandinsky. Matissedonated his Interior with aubergines, Pablo Picasso of his Woman reading in 1921 and Claude Monet of Coin de l ‘étang in Giverny in 1923. Big names of surrealism are also present. The Grenoble museum is a benchmark for contemporary art, with works by Pierre Soulages, Christian Boltanski (Monument), Andy Warhol, and even Rebecca Horn.

But the other collections are also very important. Thus, the collection of Egyptian antiquities presented is considered the fifth of France, with particularly beautiful sarcophagus and a mummy of the vi th century, the prophetess of Antinoe, presented in bulletproof glass. In addition, the most beautiful collection of paintings by Francisco de Zurbarán in a French museum with the Louvre museum is included. Finally, the dauphinoise school of the xix th centuryoccupies a special place in the museum. A sculpture garden is also installed on the east / north-west perimeter of the museum, in Albert Michallon park. Remarkably landscaped, it is in this park that the oldest tree in the city is found, a Cedar of Lebanon, planted in 1847.

The National Center for Contemporary Art (CNAC) known as Le Magasin is also one of the emblematic places of French cultural life. It was one of the major works of 1981, and was intended to be one of the spearheads of a policy of decentralization of a form of artistic expression. The name of Magasin was chosen by its founding director, Jacques Guillot, in tribute to the 1916 Russian Constructivist exhibition of the same name. Unlike a museum, the Store does not acquire works and does not constitute a collection. It renews its exhibitions quarterly and a good number of the works presented are created in situ. The Bastille Art Center is also another exhibition space dedicated to the

Moreover, in terms of art, the former Sainte-Cécile convent housing the Glénat editions is sometimes the place for exhibitions of paintings or engravings like those of the painter Rembrandt in 2017.

Regional and historical museums
Dauphinoise culture is in the spotlight by the Dauphinois museum of popular arts and traditions created in 1906. Ethnographic, archaeological, historical and social museum benefiting from the “ museum of France ” label, it offers two long-term exhibitions: “Gens de l’Alpe” and “La Grande Histoire du ski” and two new temporary exhibitions offered each season.

Other museums date back to the origins and history of the Grenoble region. The most prestigious is undoubtedly the Grenoble Saint-Laurent archaeological museum. In one of the oldest districts of the city, the Saint-Laurent district, the tour offers a trip back in time to the origins of Christianity in the region. If fame is acquired, particularly through the sanctuary early Christian times (vi th century) with an exceptional crypt, achieving recent work has helped to highlight the richness of a listed historical monument. On the site of the old cloister, the remains unearthed by archaeologists are now protected by a cover of glass and metal. More than 1,500 graves have been unearthed and more than 3,000 objects have been found in archaeological layers and in tombs.

The Musée de l’Ancien Évêché presents on five levels objects and paintings relating to the history of Grenoble and Isère, from prehistory to the present day. The basement offers visitors archaeological remains: the remains of the first city wall dating back to the end of the iii th century and a baptistery used between the iv th and x th century. The Stendhal Museum, relocated since 2012 to its premises on the Grande-Rue, presents the furnished apartment from the time of the great writer.

The museum of mountain troops presents over 600 m 2 the history of soldiers specializing in mountain combat whose origins date back to 1888. Weapons, uniforms, transmission equipment, maps and testimonies retrace the highlights of these combatants nicknamed the Blue Devils. For its part, the Museum of Resistance and Deportation of Isère describes the specificity of the Resistance in the department of Isère and particularly in the Vercors massif during the Second World War, with a chronological presentation of the events. of this war. A new presentation by animated wall maps allows to restore the concentration camp universe of the deportees. The museum obtained thelabel “museum of France”.

Finally, thanks to its active role in the start of the French Revolution and to the action of the industrialist Claude Perier, Grenoble is close to the only museum of the French Revolution located 15 kilometers away, in the town of Vizille.

Science museums
Other Grenoble museums have scientific collections. The Natural History Museum of Grenoble first founded in 1773 and presents to the public a rich natural heritage, especially downhill. Its collections include several hundred thousand objects in the disciplines of botany, zoology, geology and ethnology. There is also a Jardin des Plantes completed in 1855 within the museum.

The Grenoble Museum of Medical Sciences, created in 1992 and attached to Michallon Hospital, offers an exhibition linked to medicine every year. In addition, the ARhome museum (private museum of industrial innovation) retraces the highlights of French social, economic and political history, as well as the history of the company A.Raymond.

Finally, the CCSTI of Grenoble – La Casemate, the first scientific, technical and industrial culture center in France, opened in 1979, aims to popularize science, technology and the culture of innovation. To this end, it organizes a variety of activities, such as the design and implementation of interactive exhibitions, scientific workshops, round tables and debates intended for a wide variety of audiences, as well as traveling exhibitions. and local tools (the science truck, for example). He also coordinates the Fête de la science in the region.

It is also worth mentioning the library-museum of Grenoble, cultural building of the xix th century on Place de Verdun in Grenoble. Completed in 1870, it housed until 1970 the Municipal Library of Grenoble and until 1992 the collections of the Museum of Grenoble. It is currently used as a place for temporary exhibitions (including La Plateforme).

The Grenoble municipal library is a listed municipal library bringing together and running a network of thirteen libraries spread over the city, as well as eight other libraries of local cultural institutions. Heir to the public library created in 1772, she moved in 1970 in a building constructed between 1955 and 1959 by the architect Jean Benoit and certified heritage xx th century in September 2004. In 2010, it conserved around 800,000 books and documents over an area of 10,161 m 2. She also holds fundsconcerning the former province of Dauphiné and the former Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region or other extremely prestigious ones, such as those of the monastery of the Grande Chartreuse, Stendhal (this collection has around 40,000 pages of the writer’s manuscripts), Berlioz, Champollion.

On request, it also gives access to the old Dauphinois collection, made up of 200,000 documents, and to the old general collection comprising 196,000 works and 20,000 manuscripts prior to 1900 as well as 706 incunabula.

The mission of the municipal library, beyond heritage conservation, is to contribute to the development of reading and to fight against illiteracy. The library has thus established a network of research and consultation with twenty-one other libraries in the city, including eight associated libraries depending on local cultural institutions such as the resource center of contemporary theatrical writings, the library of Glénat editions or the Albert-Soboul library at the Musée de la Révolution française de Vizille, for example, thus expanding its reading reserve.

The agglomeration of Grenoble has forty-five cinemas in ten cinemas. The center of the city is invested by small independent cinemas for cultural, including the Cinémathèque de Grenoble which organizes the annual Short Film Festival, and film of arthouse Le Méliès, but also the club (five rooms, 493 places). La Nef (seven theaters, 876 seats) and Les 6 Rex (six theaters, 1,009 seats), the two former main cinemas in Grenoble before the creation of multiplexes, have a more general offer.

Other small venues have also been established in several towns in the city: Espace Aragon in Villard-Bonnot, Mon Ciné in Saint-Martin-d’Hères and La Vence Scène in Saint-Egrève.

Finally, the agglomeration is also home to two multiplexes: a Pathé multiplex (twelve theaters, 2,888 seats) located in the peripheral town of Echirolles, and the Pathé-Chavant multiplex (ten theaters, 2,950 seats) located in the district from the hyper-center to the heart of Grenoble.

Cultural events and festivities
On June 16, 2014, the new mayor Éric Piolle announced that the Palais des sports de Grenoble had to find purely sporting activities and that he would not renew the agreement between the association that manages it and the city 224. Events such as the Six jours de Grenoble, the Grenoble International Circus Festival or the SX Tour supercross in Grenoble have therefore disappeared. However, in November 2019, the International Circus Festival returns to the site of the esplanade and the international supercross at the Palais des Sports in December 2020.

Palm Sunday
Each year, a fun fair, called the Palm Fair, begins on Palm Saturday and generally lasts three weeks. This festive event organized by the fairgrounds is one of the most important festivals after the Foire du Trône. This has been taking place since the end of World War II on the Porte de France esplanade, north of the municipal territory.

Festival le Millésime
Among the main events, we must also mention the “Festival le Millésime”. This event is at the same time a convivial and popular wine festival (important program of tastings, meetings of authors and wine-loving workshops…), a musical festival (mainly classical and jazz program) and a wine market in the city center. city, place Victor Hugo. Winner of the René-Renou Prize in 2008.

This is the first wine-loving festival in France, due to its age and attendance. The 24 th edition takes place in October 2018, the entire city of Grenoble.

States general renewal
In another register, the “Estates General of Renewal” (former “Forum Liberation” in Grenoble) take place in the form of public debates devoted to the future of our society and have been organized several times since 2007 in Grenoble by the daily Liberation. This event, organized in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, traditionally takes place in the premises of MC2.

Tile Festival
The Saturday June 6, 2015, the municipality of Grenoble celebrated its first “Fête des Tuiles”, one of the commitments of the new mayor. This first edition brought together many associative and cultural actors and was attended by 80,000 people. For this occasion 1.8 km of the cours Jean Jaurès and the Liberation have been reserved for pedestrians and bicycles.

Street Art Fest Grenoble-Alpes
The Street Art Fest Grenoble-Alpes is a festival of urban art, carried by the art center Spacejunk [ archive ] Grenoble. It takes place in Grenoble and its metropolitan area. The declared objective of this festival is to offer current creations linked to this contemporary artistic movement for several weeks, in the very heart of Grenoble and the cities of its agglomeration. This art festival, which generally takes place in June, is presented as the first festival in Europe to be able to produce “Street Art in all its globality and its plurality of disciplines”.

Film Festival
In the cinematographic field, and thanks to the Cinémathèque de Grenoble, the open-air short film festival, which takes place in early July on the Place Saint-André and in the Juliet-Berto room, puts the genre at the forefront of the stage. cinematographic of the short film. At the beginning of November, the Mountain Cinema Meetings at the Summum are organized which bring together mountaineers, guides and directors for meetings with the public around screenings relating to events or exploits in the field of mountaineering. Finally, the Italian Cinema Meetings in Grenoble take place every year.

Grenoble also hosts the Vues d’en face festival every year in April, one of the leading French film festivals devoted to gay and lesbian films. In 2014, Grenoble also returned to the “Pride March”, organized by the LGBT CIGALE center. In 2015, a large-scale march, still organized by the LGBT center CIGALE, was held, the culmination of a week of pride.

Other festivities
Among the main musical events, it is worth noting the presence of the Rocktambule festival which takes place every year in October. The Grenoble Jazz festival and the 38e Rugissants Festival have also merged to give birth to a new event, Les Détours de Babel, a contemporary world music festival. The first edition took place from April 8 to 23, 2011. The city of Grenoble also organizes the Cabaret Frappé which takes place the second half of July, in the Jardin de Ville. It offers Grenoblois an eclectic program presenting artists from different backgrounds (confirmed or novices) and attracts more than 50,000 people each year on average.

Since 2002, the Retour de scène association has been organizing the Magic Bus festival dedicated to contemporary music.

Gastronomic heritage
The town is located in several areas of appellations awarded by the INAO: AOC – AOP Noix de Grenoble, Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage, IGP Emmental français Est Central (Label rouge), IGP Isère white, rosé and red.

Grenoble’s gastronomic heritage is symbolized by its famous walnuts (the first AOC fruit) with which the walnut cake is made. The original cake that can still be found in some pastry shops in Grenoble and the Vinay region is a kind of pie filled with honey, caramel and nut cream.

The geographical area of the Grenoble Walnut AOC covers 259 municipalities in three departments, Isère, Drôme and Savoie, mainly along the Isère valley. The densest planted areas are in the lower valley of Grésivaudan downstream from Grenoble, between Voironnais and Royans), at the foot of the Vercors massif, however the town which gave its name to this appellation does not have any fields. of walnut trees on its territory due to its too dense urbanization.

The blue of Vercors-Sassenage
The neighboring town of Sassenage is famous for its cheese. This cheese has benefited from an AOC since July 30, 1998, and an association, the Brotherhood of Blue, organizes the promotion of this culinary product beyond the region itself.

The crayfish
The crayfish is also a specialty of the region and is present in many regional dishes: chicken with crayfish, pigeon with crayfish, crayfish tails gratin, crayfish quiche. Other specialties include soup of the shady and fricassee of Caión.

The gratin dauphinois
Although the gratin dauphinois was officially mentioned for the first time, in 1788, on the occasion of a dinner offered to the municipal officers of the town of Gap, the dish is appreciated throughout the Dauphiné and ended up being famous throughout France. This dish can be prepared according to traditional recipes like the Vercors, a mountain range very close to Grenoble.

Local food products
The city was also the site of the creation of the Teisseire syrup factories in 1720, the Lustucru pasta factory in 1824, the Brun biscuit factory in 1883, and the Cémoi chocolate factory in 1920.

Other regional specialties
The Voironnaise region, known for its chocolates and plum-cake, has also affixed its name to a chard recipe: chard “à la voironnaise”. The area is on the other hand the place of production of three famous liquors: the monastery, the Antésite and wormwood. The Grenoble red batavia (also called Glory du Dauphiné) is a variety of salad produced in the region.

Restaurants and AOC
Grenoble does not have any Michelin-starred restaurant. However, the Grand Hôtel d ‘ Uriage-les-Bains restaurant near the city is awarded two stars.

Green spaces
In March 2017, the town confirmed the “three flowers” level in the flower towns and villages competition for the sixth consecutive year. The city has more than fifty parks of very different sizes, from small square to large urban park, of ten hectares or more. On the other hand, Grenoble has about forty thousand trees, and the construction of the tram lines has allowed the creation of new “green flows”.

The oldest of these is the Jardin de Ville. It is the former park of the castle of the Duke of Lesdiguières, converted in 1622 into a flower garden and a wooded area planted with lime trees and plane trees, bought by the city from its heirs in 1719. Close to the old town is also the Jardin des Dauphins, listed site. Covering an area of two hectares, it is located on the southern slopes of the Rachais spur. Laid out in terraces on military grounds in 1909, the very sheltered location of the Jardin des Dauphinsmakes it a unique site with a microclimate favorable to Mediterranean vegetation. In the xix th centurywas also fitted out the Jardin des Plantes on 17,000 m 2. It accompanies the Natural History Museum and houses, among other curiosities, hundred-year-old trees.

The expansion of the city during the xx th century enabled the creation of parks in much larger dimensions. The best known of these is the Paul-Mistral park, with an area of twenty-one hectares. It is home to many buildings, including the town hall and the sports center since 1968 and the Stade des Alpes, inaugurated in 2008. Many sculptures and monuments are on display there. The Olympic cauldron for the 1968 games is installed there. Further south, after the dismantling of the Olympic stadium in Grenoble, the creation of the Villeneuve district in the early 1970s was accompanied by the construction of the Jean-Verlhac park, with an area of fourteen hectares.

The turn of the century saw the creation of new parks in the city. It began in 1988, with the creation of 16,000 m 2 of the Albert-Michallon park. Located north-east of the Grenoble museum, it extends it with its sculpture garden. Recently (2010) the Jardin des Vallons was developed, with an area of 1.5 hectares. It is a small wooded and hilly park (hence its name), located in the new eco-district of Grenoble and adjacent to the Bonne Barracks shopping center.

Fountains and ponds
Numerous fountains dot the city, monumental or discreet, old or recent, recalling that the history of the city is a constant fight against flooding.

Ancient fountains
The oldest fountain in Grenoble is on rue Saint-Laurent, it bears the date 1746
The Fountain of the Three Orders, Place Notre-Dame, in stone and bronze, the work of Henry Ding, erected on the occasion of the centenary of the Tile Day and the Assembly of the Three Orders of Vizille in 1788.
La Fontaine du lion, place de la Cymaise, on the site of the original ford and the only bridge over the Isère for centuries, and at the foot of the Montée Chalemont (the old Roman road), the work of Victor Sappey, in 1843, to inaugurate the work of damming the Isère.
Le Torrent, au Jardin de Ville, bronze by Urbain Basset, 1882, initially placed on Place de Verdun (at the time called Place de la Constitution) and installed in the Jardin de Ville in 1888, on a rock garden. It was almost melted down in 1942 for the needs of the German army. The current fountain is the work of architect A. Rolland.
The water tower of Valletta, erected in 1824 Place Grenette, whose jet can reach 22 meters.
The Three Fountains in rue Montorge, at the entrance to the Jardin de Ville, in Baroque style, 1887.
Le Berger Cyparisse, statue of Jean Esprit Marcellin from 1848, adorning the fountain on Place de Gordes in 1850, in the old center.
The basin and the water jet at Place Victor-Hugo in the city center.

Modern fountains
The City Hall patio pool, 1967.
L’Huître, 1985, behind the Hôtel de Belmont, in Échaillon stone (like the columns of the hotel), the work of Louis Val.
The water games, forecourt of the station, 1987
Les Sphères, fountain installed in 1986 at the corner of avenue Alsace-Lorraine and boulevard Gambetta.
The triangle fountain in Place Claveyson.

Bridges and footbridges
Crossing the Isère and the Drac has always been a problem and has long been done by ferry, bridges being rare. Their construction, for the most part, is not very old and has not always been easy. For centuries, the city had only one bridge over the Isère, the Saint-Laurent bridge, damaged or washed away with each great flood and rebuilt many times. At toll and with stone pillars at the xvii th century, it was replaced in 1838 by a suspension bridge in wood apron, still toll renovated and strengthened in 1909. A second bridge, stone, started Lesdiguieres in 1621 was completed in 1671 byFrançois de Bonne de Créqui and baptized Pont Créqui or Pont de la Graille. Also rebuilt in 1838, in Sassenage stones. Other bridges date mostly from the xix th century and a half dozen of road and motorway routes, the xx th century. At the beginning of xxi th century, however, Grenoble no less than two gateways and nineteen bridges, the last of which was completed in early 2011.

All navigation on the Isère, even for the traffic of low-tonnage barges, was suspended in 1957. Navigation is therefore currently limited to small boats and kayaks during tourist walks.


Departing from Grenoble, at the foot of the Vercors in Sassenage, or at Sappey-en Chartreuse, 820 kilometers of marked trails take you from valleys to hills, from forests to mountain pastures. Leave the city center for an ascent towards breathtaking landscapes, on a family walk to the Bastille.

The first room dedicated to climbing in France was created here in 1995 with Espace Vertical. There are plenty of spots to find an anchor point and gain height.

Close to the legendary passes of the Alps and nestled in the heart of three valleys, Grenoble stands out as a leading destination for cycling.

Nearly 20 ski resorts surround Grenoble, located at the crossroads of four mountain ranges. The slopes of Vercors, Chartreuse, Belledonne and Oisans each descend in their own way.

Water activities
The liquid element, in Grenoble, is a whole poem that has been written since the end of the Ice Age. The water is available there in an infinite variety of tumultuous torrents, slow rivers, backwaters, plains full of fish and crystalline lakes of altitude, where it is good to cool off in fine weather.