Last modified: 2002-10-12 by
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by Stefan Schwoon
Grenoble is a very active city of c. 400,000 inhabitants (including suburbs), préfecture of the departement of Isère and capital of the traditional province of Dauphiné. Grenoble is the only important city with Innsbruck (Austria) to be located within the Alps mountains. It is surrounded by the massifs of Vercors, Oisans, Belledone and Chartreuse.
The city was initially named Gratianopolis, after the Western Roman Emperor Gratianus (359-383).
On 7 June 1788 happened in Grenoble the Journée des Tuiles ('Tile Day'). When they learned that King Louis XVI had exiled the Councellors of the local Parliament, citizens of Grenoble climbed on their house roofs and threw tiles down to the Royal troops, which had to leave the city. The Parliament was reinstalled and abolished only in 1791.
In 1832, a costume ball planned by the opposition to King Louis-Philippe was cancelled by the Préfet. The cancel caused a riot and the troops charged the crowd, killing 25 people. The troops had to leave the city to the boos of the crowd. The expression conduite de Grenoble ('Grenoble conduct') is still used in French for such a difficult withdrawal.
The development of Grenoble really started with the industrial revolution in the XIXth century. Coal mining, paper and glove industry quickly adopted mechanization. They were later followed by development of nuclear research (synchrotron), electronics, hydor-electrics and electrochimy. Ski industry also developed quickly, and Grenoble hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1968. The University of Grenoble, founded in 1339, has specialized in 'Alpine' disciplines such as electrotechnology and Alpine geology.
Grenoble is the birth city of the famous automat builder Vaucanson (1709-1782), whose duck (still known as Vaucanson's duck) and chess player enlightened the royal courts of Europe, and of the classical novelist Stendhal (1783-1842).
Ivan Sache, 31 August 2001
The flag of Grenoble is made of two vertical equal red and white stripes. The colours come from the arms.
Source: Lucien Philippe. Quelques drapeaux de villes des régions alpines. Emblèmes et pavillons [eep] #4, December 1985, pp.19-20.
Pascal Vagnat, 31 August 2001
The coat of arms of Grenoble is made of three red roses (2:1) on a yellow field
Stefan Schwoon, 30 August 2001Mostbet