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From upper left: Panorama of the city, Grenobles cable cars, place Saint-Andr, jardin de ville, banks of the Isre river


Location within Rhne-Alpes region [show] Administration Country Region Department Arrondissement Intercommunality France Rhne-Alpes Isre Grenoble Agglomeration community of the Grenoble Alpes Mtropole Mayor Michel Destot

Statistics Elevation 212500 m (696 1,600 ft) (avg. 398 m or 1,306 ft) Land area1 Population2 - Density INSEE/Postal code

18.44 km2(7.12 sq mi) 156,659


8,496 /km2(22,000 /sq mi) 38185/ 38000, 38100

French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Population without double counting: residents of multiple

communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.


451201N 54320E

Grenoble (French pronunciation: [.nbl]; Arpitan: Grenoblo) is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of theFrench Alps where the river Drac joins the Isre. Located in the Rhne-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isre. The proximity of the mountains, as well as its size, has led to the city being known in France as the "Capital of the Alps". Grenoble's history goes back more than 2,000 years, at a time when it was a small Gallic village. While it gained in stature by becoming the capital of the Dauphin in the 11th century, Grenoble remained for most of its history a modest parliamentary and garrison city on the borders of the kingdom of France.

Grenoble grew in importance through its industrial development, the city having experienced several periods of economic expansion in the last centuries. It started with its 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 its post-World War II economic boom symbolized by the holding of the X Olympic Winter Games in 1968. The city is now a significant scientific centre in Europe[1][2]. The population of the city (commune) of Grenoble at the 2008 census was 156,659. The population of theGrenoble metropolitan area (French: aire urbaine de Grenoble) at the 2008 census was 664,832. The residents of the city are called "Grenoblois". Among the numerous communes that make up Grenoble are the city's largest suburbs, Saint-Martind'Hres,chirolles, and Fontaine, each with a population exceeding 20,000.[3]


1 History
o o o o o o

1.1 Antiquity 1.2 Middle Ages 1.3 Renaissance 1.4 From Louis XIV to the French Revolution 1.5 19th century 1.6 20th century 2.1 Climate 3.1 La Bastille 3.2 Palace of the Parliament of Dauphin 3.3 Museum of Grenoble 3.4 Archaeological museum of Saint-Laurent 4.1 Secondary level 4.2 Higher Education

2 Geography

3 Main sights
o o o o

4 Education and Science

o o

4.2.1 Science and engineering

4.3 Knowledge and Innovation Community 5.1 Industry 5.2 Companies

5 Economy
o o

6 Sport 7 Transport 8 Culture 9 People from Grenoble 10 International relations


10.1 Twin towns and sister cities

11 In popular culture 12 Gallery 13 See also 14 References


14.1 Notes

15 Further reading 16 External links

For the ecclesiastical history, see Bishopric of Grenoble.


Last remnants of the Roman Walls

The first references to Grenoble date back to 43 BC. Cularo was at that time a little Gallic village founded by the Allobroges tribe near a bridge across the Isre River. A strong wall was built around the small town in 286 AD.[4] The Emperor Gratian visited Cularo and, touched by the people's welcome, made the village a Roman city. In honour of this, Cularo was renamedGratianopolis ("city of Gratian") in 381 (leading to Graignovol[5] during the Middle Age and then Grenoble). Christianity spread to the region during the 4th century, and the diocese of Grenoble was founded in 377 AD. From that time, the bishops exercised a significant political power over the city and, until the French Revolution, styled themselves the "bishops and princes of Grenoble".[6]

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the city was part of the first Burgundian kingdom in the 5th century and the second Burgundian Kingdom of Arlesuntil 1032, when it was integrated into the Holy Roman Empire.

Middle Ages[edit]
Grenoble grew significantly in the 11th century when the Counts of Albon chose the city as the capital of their territories. At the time, their possessions were a patchwork of several territories sprawled across the region.[7] The central position of Grenoble allowed the Counts to strengthen their authority. When they later took the title of "Dauphins", Grenoble became the capital of the State of Dauphin. Despite their status, the Counts' authority was shared with the Bishop of Grenoble. One of the most famous of who was Saint Hugh. Under his rule, the city's bridge was rebuilt, and both a regular hospital and a leper one was built.[8]

Coat of arms of the Dauphin after becoming a province of France

The inhabitants of Grenoble took advantage of the division between the Counts and the bishops and obtained the recognition of a Charter of Customs that guaranteed their rights.[9] That charter was confirmed by Kings Louis XI in 1447 and Francis I in 1541. In 1336 the last Dauphin Humbert II founded a court of justice, the Conseil delphinal, which settled at Grenoble in 1340. He also established the University of Grenoble in 1339. Aging and heirless, Humbert sold his state to France in 1349 on the condition that the heir to the French crown used the title of Dauphin. The first one, the future Charles V, spent nine months in Grenoble. The city remained the capital of the Dauphin, henceforth a province of France, and the Estates of Dauphin were created. The only Dauphin who really governed his province was Louis XI, whose "reign" lasted from 1447 to 1456. It was only under his rule that Dauphin properly joined the Kingdom of France. The Old Conseil Delphinal became a Parlement (the third one in France after the Parliaments of Paris and Toulouse), strengthening the status of Grenoble as a Provincial capital. He also ordered the construction of the Palais du Parlement (finished under Francis I) and ensured that the Bishop pledged allegiance, thus forging the political union of the city.[10] At that time, Grenoble was a crossroads between Vienne, Geneva, Italy, and Savoy. It was the industrial centre of the Dauphin and the biggest city of the province.

Franois de Bonne, duc de Lesdiguires

Due to Grenoble's geographical situation, French troops were garrisoned in the city and its region during the Italian Wars. Charles VIII, Louis XII, and Francis I went several times to Grenoble. However, the people had to suffer from the exactions of the soldiers. The nobility of the region took part in various battles (Marignano, Pavia) and in doing so gained significant prestige.[11]The best-known of its members was Bayard, "the knight without fear and beyond reproach". Grenoble suffered as a result of the French Wars of Religion. The Dauphin was indeed an important settlement for Protestants and therefore experienced several conflicts. The baron des Adrets, the leader of the Huguenots, pillaged the Cathedral of Grenoble and destroyed the tombs of the former Dauphins. In August 1575, Lesdiguires became the new leader of the Protestants and, thanks to the accession of Henry IV to the throne of France, allied himself with the governor and the lieutenant general of the Dauphin. But this alliance did not bring an end to the conflicts. Indeed, a Catholic movement, the Ligue, which took Grenoble in December 1590, refused to make peace. After months of assaults, Lesdiguires defeated the Ligue and took back Grenoble. He became the leader of the entire province.[12] Lesdiguires became the lieutenant-general of the Dauphin and administered the Province from 1591 to 1626. He began the construction of the Bastille in order to protect the city and ordered the construction of new walls, increasing the city's size. He also constructed the Htel Lesdiguires, built new fountains, and dug sewers.[13]

From Louis XIV to the French Revolution[edit]

The day of the Tiles

The revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV caused the departure of 2,000 Protestants from Grenoble, weakening the city's economy.[14] However, it also weakened the glove industry of Grasse, leaving the glove factories of Grenoble without any competition.[15] This allowed a stronger economic development for the city during the 18th century. For example, at the beginning of that century, only 12 glovers made 15,000 dozen gloves each year; however, by 1787, 64 glovers made 160,000 dozen gloves each year.[15] The city gained some notoriety on 7 June 1788 when the townspeople assaulted troops of Louis XVI in the "Day of the Tiles". The people attacked the royal troops to prevent an expulsion of the notables of the city, which would have seriously endangered the economic prosperity of Grenoble. Following these events, the Assembly of Vizilletook place. Its members organized the meeting of the old Estates General, thus beginning the French Revolution. During the Revolution, Grenoble was represented in Paris by two illustrious notables, Jean Joseph Mounier andAntoine Barnave. In 1790, the Dauphin was divided into three departments, and Grenoble became the cheflieu of the Isre department. The city was renamed Grelibre and took back its real name only under Napoleon. Only two abbeys were executed at Grenoble during the Reign of Terror.[16] Pope Pius VI, prisoner of France, spent three days at Grenoble in 1799 before going to Valence where he died.

19th century