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Friday, May 13, 2011

An Introduction To Grenoble

Panorama view over Grenoble, Isère departement...Image via Wikipedia

Author: James Clark

Grenoble is a city in France situated at the southeastern part of the country. Its population is about 158,000 and it can be found right at the foot of the Alps where two rivers, Drac and Isere, meet.

History of Grenoble
Grenoble's earliest history dates back in the 43 BC when the Allobroges tribe inhabited the place. The town was then compounded with a wall built in 286 AD. The place was turned into a Roman city following Emperor Gratian's visit. Known as Cularo during that time, the city was renamed as Gratianopolis, meaning city of Gratian, during 381. Its name evolved to Graignovol in the Middle Age until it eventually settled to be permanently called Grenoble.

Grenoble improved drastically during the 11th century. The Counts of Albon made Grenoble as the capital city of all the ruled regions. During the Renaissance period, French troops strategically made the city as its settlement site due to its geographical location.

From then on, the city experienced several wars and battles. In 1788, the citizens fought against the royal army when the Louis XVI tried to evict prominent people from the city thereby creating threats to economic collapse. This subsequently started the French Revolution.

Things to do in Grenoble
The city's past is seen on today's architectural structures. The once Palace of the Parliament of Dauphine was turned into a courthouse until the Isere Council owned it in 2002. A few minutes away from the palace stands the Museum of Grenoble which showcases Egyptian antiques along with the Roman and Greek displays. It also houses several paintings.

When one wants to have a view of the city, a cable car is available going to the Bastille Hill which provides the most beautiful panoramic view of the place. The Musee de l'Ancien Eveche is one of the most frequented sites in Grenoble. Also known as the Museum of the Old Bishopric, it is home to some of the world's finest collections which speak of France's and Grenoble's religious history. It has a crypt and a baptistery which dates back to the 10th century.

Musee Stendhal depicts the Grenoble's decorative arts history, where souvenirs, drawings and portraits pertaining to Stendahl's childhood are found. For some recreational activities, the Parc Paul Mistral is a huge park found right at the center of Grenoble. It has a roller skating rink and its lawns are extensively well-taken good care.
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Travel to Grenoble and other destinations in Europe with a Eurail Pass. Visit to find out more.

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