Grenoble from the Tour Sans Venin at Night
The Tour Sans Venin is a relic of a dungeon of the XIIIth century, perched on a hill 666 m above sea level on the foothills of the Vercors mountains, overlooking the town of Grenoble at 450m.
It is described as one of the Seven Wonders of the Dauphiné, and located above the town of Seyssinet-Pariset.
There's limited evidence of th eplace, however the tower is believed to have a medieval dungeon.
From this point you can get an impressive view over the 3 valleys of the Isère and Drac and the Massif de la Chartreuse and Belledonne . You can even see Mont Blanc on a clear day.
The site hosts one of the two television transmitters in the Grenoble area.
Moucherotte at 1901m is on the eastern side of the Vercors, at the north end of the ridge that runs a...
Main arrival point by road from Lyon in Grenoble.
The Porte de France 'city gate' was constructed in 1620 by Lesdiguières, protecting a bridge into Gr...
This cinema is just outside of downtown Grenoble, and has some fantastic old-school neon and silouett...
Under a road/rail bridge over the Isere river on the north side of Grenoble is a great spot to find s...
View at Grenoble, Vercors and toward Lyon, from Bastille top. Pano done in april 2008.
I created this panorama with the Photosynth app on my iOS device, http://www.photosynth.net.
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.