Eric Piolle (Europe Ecology – The Greens)
| Bastille, Grenoble-Bastille cable car, Musee dauphinois, Museum of Grenoble, Musee de la Resistance et de la Deportation a Grenoble|
Joseph Fourier University, Pierre Mendes-France University, Grenoble School of Management, Grenoble Institute of Technology, Stendhal University
Grenoble (; Arpitan: ) is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps where the river Drac joins the Isere. Located in the Rhone-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isere. The proximity of the mountains, as well as its size, has led to the city being known as the "Capital of the Alps".
Grenobles 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 Dauphine 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.
The population of the city (commune) of Grenoble at the 2008 census was 156,659. The population of the Grenoble metropolitan area (French: aire urbaine de Grenoble or "agglomeration grenobloise") at the 2008 census was 664,832. The residents of the city are called "Grenoblois."
The numerous communes that make up the metropolitan area include the citys largest suburbs, Saint-Martin-dHeres, Echirolles, and Fontaine, each with a population exceeding 20,000.
Grenoble is surrounded by mountains. To the north lies the Chartreuse, to the south and west the Vercors, and to the east the Belledonne range. Grenoble is regarded as the capital of the French Alps.
Except for a few houses on the slopes of the Bastille hill, Grenoble is exclusively built on the alluvial plain of the Isere and Drac rivers at an altitude of 214 metres (702 ft). As a result the city itself is extremely flat. Mountain sports are an important tourist attraction in summer and winter. Twenty large and small ski resorts surround the city, the nearest being Le Sappey-en-Chartreuse, which is about 15 minutes drive away.
Historically, both Grenoble and the surrounding areas were sites of mining and heavy industry. Abandoned mills and factories can be found in small towns and villages, and a few have been converted to tourist attractions, such as the coal mine at La Mure.
The Bastille, an ancient series of fortifications on the mountainside overlooking Grenoble on the northern side is visible from many points in the city. The Bastille is one of Grenobles most visited tourist attractions and is a good vantage point over the town below and the surrounding mountains.
Although the Bastille was begun in the Middle Ages, later years saw extensive additions, including a semi-underground defense network. The Bastille has been credited as the most extensive example of early 18th-century fortifications in all of France and then held an important strategic point on the Alpine frontier.
The first cable transport system, installed on the Bastille in 1875, was built by the Porte de France Cement Company. This cable transport system connected a quarry on Mount Jalla, just over the bastille, and Grenoble. It was abandoned in the early 20th century
Since 1934, the Bastille has been the destination of the "Grenoble-Bastille Cable Car". This system of egg-shaped cable cars known to locals as "Les Bulles" (the bubbles) provides the occupants with an excellent view over the Isere River. At the top are two restaurants and a small military museum on mountain troops (Musee des troupes de montagne).
Grenoble is one of the leading European cities in term of high-tech industries, especially biotechnology and nanotechnology. World-renowned enterprises have settled in Grenoble and in the surrounding area such as Hewlett Packard, Caterpillar, and STMicroelectronics. Since 1993 Grenoble can be considered as an international city thanks to the World Trade Center of Grenoble.
In the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, Derek "Del Boy" Trotter refers to Grenoble when he tries to speak French
Grenoble hosts several festivals: the Grenoble Jazz Festival in March, the Open Air Short Film Festival in early July, and the Cabaret Frappe music festival at the end of July.
The Summum is the biggest concert hall in Grenoble, and the most famous artists produce there. Another big hall, Le grand angle, is located nearby in Voiron. Smaller halls in the city include the Salle Olivier Messiaen.
The main cultural center of the city is called MC2 (for Maison de la culture, version 2), which hosts music, theater, and dance performances.
There are several theaters in Grenoble, the main one being Grenoble Municipal Theatre (Theatre de Grenoble). Others are the Theatre de Creation, the Theatre Premol, and the Theatre 145. Grenoble also hosts Upstage Productions, which performs once a year through an exclusively English speaking troupe.
There are two main art centres in Grenoble: the Centre national dArt contemporain (also called Le Magasin) and the Centre dart Bastille.
Grenoble is known for its walnuts, Noix de Grenoble which enjoy an appellation of controlled origin.
The town also hosts an important comics publisher, Glenat.