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Grenoble, or ‘The capital of the Alps’, presents a staggering city-scape where the river Drac joins the Isère. Situated in a broad valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains – Chartreuse (north), Vercors (southwest) and the Italian Alps (east) – the city sits right at the heart of the Dauphiné region. The city’s history goes back 2,000 years, but it has jumped firmly into the present becoming a major European scientific centre.
Its economic expansion in the past century was marked by Grenoble’s holding the X Olympic Winter Games in 1968. The Games also helped develop new ski resorts like Chamrousse, and the city has developed a reputation for social, artistic and technological innovation. The shops are thriving, the boulevards are broad and architecturally stunning, and a buzzing student population adds to the appeal of the big city.