from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Grenoble coat of arms
Grenoble (France)
region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Department Isère ( prefecture )
Arrondissement Grenoble
Canton Chief lieu of the cantons
Community association Grenoble-Alpes metropolis
Coordinates 45 ° 11 ′  N , 5 ° 44 ′  E Coordinates: 45 ° 11 ′  N , 5 ° 44 ′  E
height 204-600 m
surface 18.13 km 2
- Unité urbaine
158,454 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 8,740 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 38000, 38100
INSEE code

Grenoble [ gʀənɔbl ] ( Arpitan Grenoblo , German outdated grass forest ) is the capital of the French departments of Isere and the Dauphiné in the region Auvergne Rhône-Alpes in southeastern France . The reason for the city's foundation was probably the striking location at the meeting of two valleys at the merging of the rivers Isère and Drac .

With 158,454 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017), Grenoble is the largest high-mountain city ​​in the Alps , ahead of Innsbruck , with which it has a lot in common in terms of tourism. The entire metropolitan area has around 665,000 people.

Digital terrain model of the Vercors (80 × 65 km). Grenoble lies in the upper area of ​​the right edge of the picture (45 ° 10 '/ 5 ° 43'), the Isère valley continues to the left.


Climate diagram of Grenoble ( Grenoble-Isère Airport )
Grenoble and its mountain scenery (2002)
View of Grenoble
The bridge over the Drac with a view of the Belledonne

The city center is located at about 212  m on the Isère , latitude 45 ° 10 ′ north, longitude 5 ° 43 ′ east. It is about 150 kilometers south of Geneva , 100 kilometers east of Lyon and 350 kilometers north of the Côte d'Azur .

In the immediate vicinity of the city there are alpine mountain peaks some a few kilometers apart, some over 3000 m high; These are the Vercors massif , the Chartreuse and the Chaîne de Belledonne , the western foothills of the French Alps .

The city is located northeast of the Vercors Regional Nature Park , with which it is associated as an access point.

The Île Verte district makes it one of the most densely populated areas of the city.


Grenoble was already settled by the Celtic Allobrogians . In a letter to Cicero , the place is first mentioned in Roman times in 43 BC. Mentioned as Cularo . The city wall was built as early as 286 under Emperor Diocletian . It was over a kilometer long and included 38 towers. In 377 the city in Gratianopolis was renamed after Emperor Gratian . In the 14th century the name changed to Greynovol and later to Greynoble, from which the current name emerged. In the period after the French Revolution , in which the name noble (French for noble, noble) caused offense, the city was temporarily renamed Grelibre ( libre French for free) in 1793 . Napoléon then gave it back its original name.

Grenoble has been a bishopric since the 4th century ; in the year 879 it came to the Kingdom of Burgundy and with this in the year 1033 to the Roman-German Empire . In 1242 it was granted city rights . The university was founded in 1339. In 1349 Grenoble came with the entire Dauphiné by sale to the Dauphin of France, who thereby became de jure vassal of the Roman-German emperor.

On September 14, 1219, the natural barrier at Lac de Saint-Laurent in the Romanche valley broke, and around half of the population of Grenoble was killed as a result of the tidal wave it triggered.

In the 18th century, the city was best known for its handicrafts . The Hache carpentry dynasty , which was active in Grenoble, gained national importance when it was given the title of "Carpenters of the Dukes of Orléans ". Their works can still be admired today in the Musée Dauphinois in Grenoble. As early as 1788 there was an anti-royalist revolt in the city, the day of the brick , which forced the king to convene the provincial estates general. Two representatives of the Third Estate from Grenoble, Antoine Barnave and Jean-Joseph Mounier , became important champions of the French Revolution as part of the Ballhaus oath .

Since the 1850s there has been a strong immigration of the rural population to Grenoble, and since 1880 also from abroad. As early as 1931, the proportion of foreigners in the population was 18%.

Grenoble was developed by the German Wehrmacht in September 1943 occupied . In late November, 19 leaders of the resistance to the occupation were murdered. On May 26, 1944, the German-occupied city suffered from heavy Allied bombing .

In 1968 the 10th Winter Olympics took place in Grenoble . The city was expanded for the major event at a huge financial expense of around 460 million euros, because President Charles de Gaulle wanted to use the opportunity to present it as a symbol of the modernization of France.

La Villeneuve

Maquette en bois de la Galerie de l'Arlequin, Villeneuve de Grenoble
Wooden model of part of La Villeneuve

In connection with the Olympic Games, the La Villeneuve district was planned, which was created in 1970-1983 and also includes the Olympic Park and parts of the municipality of Échirolles . The architecture of La Villeneuve became a demonstration project of the concrete architecture of sculptural brutalism . As the houses became increasingly neglected, a high proportion of unemployed immigrants, especially from Algeria, and growing social problems, the pressure to renovate increased. After the street battles in 2010, some buildings began to be demolished despite protests from residents. Life in La Villeneuve has been documented by numerous authors and filmmakers, including: a. by Kateb Yacine and Jean-Luc Godard .


In the local elections in March 2014, the candidate of the Greens ( Europe Écologie-Les Verts ), Eric Piolle, was elected mayor to succeed Michel Destot ( PS ). In June 2020 he was confirmed in his office as a candidate for the LDVG (list divers gauche) alliance.

Town twinning

The city of Grenoble has partnerships with the following cities:

Economy and Infrastructure

The manufacturing industry includes operations in electrochemistry and metallurgy, mechanical engineering , information technology , glove-making and cement manufacturing . Grenoble was one of the centers of electrification and hydropower. Major events such as the Exposition Internationale de la houille blanche in 1925 promoted this development. From 1918 to 1996, the Libéria brand bicycles were produced in Grenoble.

In the last few decades Grenoble has become the center of high technology development. The city forms one of the two poles of the high-tech cluster Lyon-Grenoble.


Type TFS trams in front of the station

On July 1, 1858, the section from Rives to Grenoble of the Lyon – Marseille line went into operation. This gave the city a train station and a rail link to Lyon . In December 1876, the P.LM railway company extended the line to Vif , and from July 1878 it could be used as far as Marseille. The branch line to Montmélian was opened on September 15, 1864. From 1893, the network of meter- gauge narrow - gauge railways Voies ferrées du Dauphiné was created .

The importance of the line to Marseille remained limited, as long-distance traffic flowed mainly through the Rhone Valley ( Paris – Marseille line ). About Lyon Part-Dieu and the new line LGV Sud-Est today run TGV - high-speed trains to and from Paris . In regional traffic, Grenoble is connected to Valence , Chambéry and Gap .

In the 1890s, an inner-city tram network operated by several companies and the overland tram Tramway de Grenoble à Chapareillan emerged . Between 1933 and 1952, the old tram was gradually shut down. In 1987, after Nantes , Grenoble was the second city in France to reintroduce the tram. The Société d'Économie Mixte des Transports de l'Agglomération Grenobloise (SÉMITAG) operates five tram lines and 45 bus routes in Grenoble. This modern public transport system was accompanied by a significant upgrade in the city center.

With the cable car to the Bastille of Grenoble , which opened in 1934, Grenoble had the world's first inner-city cable car .

The Grenoble Airport is the city about 40 kilometers north-west, it is served mainly in the winter season and charter flights. The closest airport with scheduled flights is Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport near Lyon, about an hour's drive away .

Education and Research

European Research Center in Grenoble

Grenoble is home to one of the world's best business schools, the Grenoble École de Management . The GEM is one of the “Grandes Écoles” (elite universities) in the country.

The University of Grenoble is the third largest in the country with around 45,000 students. The University-level Institut national polytechnique de Grenoble (INPG) comprises nine engineering schools and numerous research laboratories.

The major research facilities Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA 2 ), the European Synchrotron ( ESRF ), the CEA-Leti and the neutron source of the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) are located in Grenoble . The circular building of the ESRF at the confluence of the Drac and Isère rivers is one of the city's attractions.

One of the four branches of the EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory), which conducts basic research in molecular biology, and the German-French-Spanish Institute for Radio Astronomy IRAM are located in Grenoble .

With 12,000 employees, Inovallée is one of the leading technology parks in France.

According to an annual nationwide survey by the French magazine L'Etudiant, Grenoble is one of the most popular university cities in France. In 2013-2014 it even took first place.

The nationally significant university hospital is u. a. specialized in trauma treatments. Michael Schumacher was a patient after his skiing accident in Méribel on December 29, 2013.

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir , Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Richard von Weizsäcker studied at the University of Grenoble as foreign students .

The Center National du Machinisme Agricole du Génie Rural des Eaux et des Forêts has existed since 1981 .

Culture and sights

The Musée de Grenoble houses the third largest art collection in France after the museums in Paris and Lyon. With 187,000 visitors a year, it is one of the most famous museums in France, largely for its collections of contemporary art and collections of paintings from the 13th to the 21st centuries. It also has collections of Egyptian and Greek art. There is also the Resistance Museum .

Grenoble is also known for its walnuts , whose designation of origin is protected.

Every spring the famous Grenoble Jazz Festival takes place with up to 18,000 visitors.

Grenoble fortress

After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, Grenoble was expanded into a fortress and surrounded by several detached forts because of the associated shifting of the border to the west . The task of the fortress was to seal off the Isèretal to the south. The fortress of Grenoble was not involved in warfare and the forts are more or less intact.

These are in detail:

as well as the citadel called " Fort de la Bastille " , which is of older origin, but was included in the system of fortifications according to the Système Séré de Rivières .

Famous people from the city


Web links

Wiktionary: Grenoble  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Grenoble  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Heinrich Leo: Textbook of the universal history for use in higher educational institutions. 1842, p. 564.
  2. French Statistics Institute ( )
  3. July 20, 2010: Street battles in France
  4. Résultats des élections municipales: Grenoble at, accessed on July 4, 2020
  5. Information from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research
  6. inovallé
  7. 10th September 2013: Le palmarès 2013–2014 des villes où il fait bon étudier