Porte de France at Night
The Porte de France 'city gate' was constructed in 1620 by Lesdiguières, protecting a bridge into Grenoble and lines up with the main Boulevard Gambetta into the heart of Grenoble. It is one of the last remains of the city fortifications constructed by Lesdiguieres.
A latin inscription honors Louis XIII and Francois de Bonne, and noteds that the original name of the gate was the Porte royale. It was renovated in 1847-1848, and then converted into a war memorial between 1929 and 1932.
Main arrival point by road from Lyon in Grenoble.
This cinema is just outside of downtown Grenoble, and has some fantastic old-school neon and silouett...
View at Grenoble, Vercors and toward Lyon, from Bastille top. Pano done in april 2008.
Under a road/rail bridge over the Isere river on the north side of Grenoble is a great spot to find s...
I created this panorama with the Photosynth app on my iOS device, http://www.photosynth.net.
The Tour Sans Venin is a relic of a dungeon of the XIIIth century, perched on a hill 666 m above sea ...
Construction of the Fort de Comboire began in 1882, above the town of Claix, defending the approach t...
France is affectionately referred to as "the Hexagon" for its overall shape.
French history goes back to the Gauls, a Celtic tribe which inhabited the area circa 300BC until being conquered by Julius Caesar.
The Franks were the first tribe to adopt Catholic Christianity after the Roman Empire collapsed. France became an independent location in the Treaty of Verdun in (843 AD), which divided up Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire into several portions.
The French monarchy reached its zenith during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King, who stood for seventy-two years as the Monarch of all Monarchs. His palace of Versailles and its Hall of Mirrors are a splendid treasure-trove of Baroque art.
The French Revolution ended the rule of the monarchy with the motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" On July 14th, 1789 angry mobs stormed La Bastille prison and began the Revolution in which Louis XVI, his wife Marie-Antoinette and thousands of others met the guillotine.
One decade after the revolution, Napolean Bonaparte seized control of the Republic and named himself Emperor. His armies conquered most of Europe and his Napoleonic Code became a lasting legal foundation for concepts of personal status and property.
During the period of colonization France controlled the largest empire in the world, second only to Britain.
France is one of the founding members of the European Union and the United Nations, as well as one of the nuclear armed nations of the world.
Text by Steve Smith.