Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Grenoble
GRENOBLE, a fortified city of France, formerly the chief town of Dauphine and now of the department of tie Isere, lies 58 miles E. of Lyons, in 45 11 57" N. lat. and 5 43 29" E. long. Few of the cities of France have a finer situation. The Isere unites with the Drac a few miles further down, and the broad and fertile valley through which the rivers flow is encompassed by a fine panorama of hills and mountains. From the botanic gardens, for ex ample, the eastward view comprises the Savoy Alps with the summit of Mount Blanc, and the westward the mountains of St Nizier, while more to the north the hills rise directly above the town, and are crowned by the fort of the Bastille. The beauty of the Isere itself is enhanced by fine bridges and quays. With tlie exception of its more modern por tions, the town of Grenoble is characterized by the tortuous and crowded streets usual in places that have long been con fined within strong fortifications. The cathedral of Notre Dame, a vast brick building of various periods from the 10th to the 17th century, the foundation of which is tradi tionally ascribed to Charles the Great ; the church of Sfc Laurence, with a remarkable crypt of the llth century, long believed to be an old temple of yEsculapius: and the church of St Andre", founded by the dauphin Guigues Andre" about 1220, and frequently visited for the sake of the tomb of Bayard removed thither in 1822, are the most noteworthy of the ecclesiastical edifices. The palais de justice is a striking erection of the 15th and 16th centuries occupying the site of the old castle of the dauphins, and in front is a statue of Bayard dating from 1823. The old town-hall has nothing remarkable about it ; but the new prefecture, built at a cost of 1,404,000 francs about 18G7, is a handsome structure. Besides its university or academy, with the three faculties of law, science, and literature,
[ Plan of Grenoble. ]
Grenoble possesses a lyceum, an episcopal seminary, a school of artillery of the first class, two normal schools, and a great variety of special educational institutions. The library, which since 1868 has been located along with the museum in a building which cost more than 1,500,000 francs, is a noble collection of upwards of 178,875 volumes, on which the town has expended 2,000,000 francs. 1 Among the numerous societies of Grenoble it is enough to mention the Academic delphinaie (1772), the statistical society, the society of the friends of the arts, the society of agriculture, and the zoological society of the Alps, which maintains zoological gardens. At the head of the benevolent institu tions is the general hospital, originally founded by Aimon Chissay in 1424, and now comprising civil and military departments, an orphanage, and an asylum for the aged and infirm. It was in Grenoble that the first mutual benefit society was founded in 1803, and the number of such associations in the town was upwards of 40 about 1 870. In 1836 M. Berriat Saint Prix established a society for the extinction of mendicity, and in 1851 M. Fre"de"ric originated 1 See Gariel, La Bibliotheqite de Grenoble, 1772-1878, Paris, 1878. an association allmentaire for the purpose of providing the poorer classes with good food at the cheapest possible rate. The staple industry of Grenoble is the making of gloves ; 115 establishments, employing 2000 workmen and 20,000 needlewomen in the town and neighbourhood, turn out annually 850,000 dozen pairs. Liqueurs, leather, straw hats, paper, lime, and cement hold a principal place among the miscellaneous products. The population of Grenoble was 26,852 in 1851, 35,280 in 1872, and 43,054 in 1876.
Grenoble occupies the site of Cularo, a village of the Allobrogcs which first became of importance when it was fortified by Diocletian and Maximian. Its present name is a corruption of Gratianopolif, a title assumed in honour of Gratian, who had strengthened the walls. From the Burgundians who gained possession in 467 the little town passed under the Franks, and on the dismemberment of the empire of Charles the Great it was included in the limits of Cisjuran Burgundy. After the 10th century its bishops grew into power, but they were finally supplanted in the 13th century by the counts of Albon, afterwards known as the Dauphins. Though it was ceded in 1349 to France along with Dauphine, the city continued to enjoy special privileges. In 1563 it was sacked by the Baron des Adrets, but in 1572 the energy of its governor De Gorde saved it from shing in the massacre of St Bartholomew. Lesdiguieres (Koi des Mon tagues) took the town by siege in 1590 in name of Henry IV., ami he afterwards made his governorship memorable by his fortifications, quays, and other serviceable enterprises. In the close of the 18th century the name of Grenoble appears in the van of the revolution ary movement ; the attempt of the Government to substitute a new judicial regime for that of the too independent provincial parliament roused the people to arms and the day of the tiles " (7th June 1788) is memorable for the defeat of the royal forces. Grenoble was the first town to open its gates to Napoleon on his return from Elba in 1815, but a few months afterwards it was obliged to surrender to the Austrians. Owing to its situation Grenoble is subject to inun dations ; in 1219 it was almost swept away, and from that date to 1856 no fewer than 15 similar disasters are enumerated. The great flood of 1778 is known as the " Deluge de la Saint Crepin." In 1859 the water was 3 feet deep throughout the town. Among the celebrated natives of Grenoble are Vauoanson, Mably, Condillac, Beyle (Stendhal), Barnave, and Casimir Perier.