Known for its university and for scientific research, as well as being the main city in the French Alps, Grenoble is the prefecture (capital) of the Isère department (county) and the ancient capital of the historical province of Dauphiné. The city was first mentioned as Cularo in 43 BC, a Gallic village of the Allobroges tribe, hence having a history of more than 2000 years. Below you will find some photos from my recent trip to the city, in chronological order. It is fair to warn you that I felt like the city was recently bombed; the amount of decay and destruction has shocked me and it currently tops the dirtiest places I’ve been in France. Given the academic and touristic importance, I was left speechless…

Gare de Grenoble – the main railway station

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, close to the railway station

It was quiet as it was weekend. Distinctive Parisian flavor.

Place Hubert Dubedout with a view of the Bastille

Boulevard Gambetta, very Paris-style

Fontaine des Mondes

Eglise Saint Louis, side view, typical Alpine architecture

Eglise Saint Louis, the entrance

Rue de la République

Fontaine Lavalette in Grenette Place, apparently the old center of the city

Musée Stendhal should’ve been somewhere here but it was impossible to identify (Stendhal, the writer, was born in Grenoble)

Jardin de Ville with the statue of Hercules, probably the only beautiful place I saw in Grenoble

Théâtre municipal de Grenoble, not welcoming at all

Téléphérique Grenoble – Bastille, with “les bulles” or the bubbles

Hill and fortress of Bastille on the southernmost part of Chartreuse Mountains

Collégiale Saint-André of Grenoble

Yes, those are 2 gypsies begging at the entrance and you can see grass growing through the bricks of the church and rusted window frames, which is far from normal and does not add charm to the place at all

Palais du Parlement du Dauphiné in the Place du Tribunal… or what must have been the Parliament of the region (Grenoble courthouse until 2002, nowadays the Conseil Général de l’Isère). Everything is not only under heavy renovation but also dirty and full of graffiti. The statue is the one of Chevalier de Bayard.

The depressing Rue du Palais…

Marché Place Aux Herbes, not the cleanest place in the world…

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

Fontaine des Trois Ordres in Place Notre Dame

Halles Sainte-Claire, a dirty and chaotic place

Halles Sainte-Claire, north view with mountains in the background

Halles Sainte-Claire, south view, with the façade of Lycée Stendhal and the red Office de Tourisme Grenoble Alpes

Through graffiti one can barely see the Bibliothèque Centre-Ville (the central library)

Rue de la République with Le Grand Hotel de Grenoble, what appears to be a 4 stars hotel…

Galeries Lafayette Grenoble & Hotel De L’Europe

Back to the Gare de Grenoble with Les Trois Pics (the three peaks) sculpture.

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  1. I had the chance to visit way back, 1985. Beatiful little city. Sadly I did not have much time there as I would have liked.
    Many Thanks for the beautiful photos.