GRENOBLE - SAINT-PIERRE DE CHARTREUSE (THE MUSEUM OF CARTHUSIAN ORDER)
VOIRON (CHARTREUSE CELLARS) - CHÂTEAU DE VIZILLE (MUSÉE DE LA RÉVOLUTION FRANÇAISE DE VIZILLE)
WALKING SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF GRENOBLE
Grenoble, a city in the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France, sits at the foot of mountains between the Drac and Isère rivers. It's known as a base for winter sports, and for its museums, universities and research centers. The first references to Grenoble date back to 43 BC. Cularo was at that time a little Gallic village. The Emperor Gratian visited Cularo and, touched by the people's welcome, made the village a Roman city. In honor of this, Cularo was renamed Gratianopolis ("City of Gratian").
In XXI century Grenoble becomes the capital of the State Dauphiné, which became a part of the French kingdom in 1349. In 1590 the city was captured by the local leader of Huguenots Lesdiguières who subsequently becomes a lieutenant general of Dauphiné and starts a large construction and fortification works in the city.
Starting from the XVII century the industry starts developing in Grenoble. It reached heights in the XIX century with the development of hydraulic power industry, cement production and glove business. In 1968 Grenoble welcomed the X th Olympic Games, which gave a strong push for modernization of urban and sports infrastructure. Today Grenoble is the French impersonation of the "Silicon Valley", where the leading information technology companies, large universities and research laboratories are located. You are welcome to Grenoble – the city whose spirit is filled with the movement and thirst for discovery.
During the excursion you will see the next attractions:
The old Bishop's Palace Museum
Collégiale Saint André
Hôtel de Lesdiguière with an elegant garden
After visiting the old city you will take the funicular and go up to the former military fortification – Fort de la Bastille with a panoramic view of Grenoble. Your excursion will come to its end at the Place Grenette next to the fountain of dolphins. This is a perfect place for a cup of coffee.
Price of funicular:
• Up and down: EUR 7.50 (full price)
• Up and down: EUR 5.70 (for groups from 15 pers.)
• Up only: EUR 5.15 (full price)
• Up only: EUR 4.00 (for groups from 15 pers.)
LUNCH IN THE VILLAGE SAINT-PIERRE-DE-CHARTREUSE
You are invited to have a lunch at the restaurant serving traditional Savoyard cuisine. The restaurant features panoramic terrace with impressive view over the Chartreuse mountain chain.
VARIANTS OF YOUR PROGRAM AFTER THE LUNCH:
1st Variant: Grande Chartreuse Museum + Chartreuse liqueur tasting
GRANDE CHARTREUSE MUSEUM
After the lunch you will have a chance to touch once again the history. This time you will discover one of the oldest religious orders – Carthusian. This order and the first Carthusian monastery were founded in 1084 by Saint Bruno of Cologne in the Chartreuse Mountains. Saint Bruno came to the mountains with 6 companions. That's why the emblem of the brotherhood contains 7 stars. They went to the mountainous deserts in search of silence for praying and seeking God. This religious community reached the highest popularity in XIV century, when there were about 150 of Carthusian monasteries. The Carthusian order exists till present time and represented not only in Europe, but also in Brazil, Argentina and even South Korea, extending back over 18 friaries and 4 nunneries.
Grande Chartreuse Museum is located in the former hospital and household premises belonging to the parent monastery of Carthusians. The museum exposition tells about the daily and religious life of Carthusian fathers. You will have the possibility to visit the monks' cells which look like the separate two-story houses with a small garden. The ground floor of each house is occupied by workshop, where the monk could do some hand work for example working with wood or books. The museum also houses a unique collection of Carthusian Monastery maps. The maps created in the period between XVII and XIX century represent first of all a picturesque image of the richest Carthusian monastery of that time in all parts of Europe.
Grande Chartreuse Museum is opened all year around for groups of 20 pers. In winter season the advanced booking is obligatory.
For individual visitors the museum is open:
• April: 13:30-18:00
• May - September: 10:00-18:30
• October - November: 13:30-18:00 on weekdays and 10:00-18:00 on week-ends and holidays
• Entry ticket: EUR 8.50 (Full price)
• Entry ticket: EUR 7.00 (for groups of 20 pers.)
VISIT OF CHARTREUSE CELLARS WITH LIQUOR TASTING
After the visit of Grande Chartreuse Museum you are invited to find out some more about the history and production of the famous liquor Chartreuse which is at present time the principal source of income for the Carthusian monks. During the visit of the distilling plant in Voiron you will be able to see the process of digestion and distillation of 130 herbs which form part of the Chartreuse liquor. You will also visit the cellars 164 m in length where you will discover the process of liquor production and aging. At the end of the visit everyone who wishes can taste the liquor.
• 05.04.16 - 03.11.16: the cellars are open every day from 9:00 to 11:00 and from 14:00 to 18:30
• 04.11.16 - 04.04.17: the cellars are open only on weekdays. The lunch hour is from 11:00 to 14:00.
The visits and tastings are free of charge.
18:15 Arrival to Grenoble
LUNCH IN GRENOBLE
You are invited to have a lunch at the restaurant located on the peak of the hill Bastille with a panoramic view of Grenoble.
DEPARTURE FROM GRENOBLE TO CHÂTEAU DE VIZILLE
The small town of Vizille is dominated by its large chateau. It is situated a little south of Grenoble, in the southern part of the Isere department, in the Rhone-Alps region of south-east France. It is at the edge of the Vercors Natural Regional Parc.
The Château of Vizille once belonged to the Dukes of Lesdiquieres but became an important meeting place during the build up to the French Revolution. It has been the summer residence for French presidents between 1925 and 1960.
The interior is now open to the public as a museum of the French revolution and the beautiful gardens are open to all. The gardens and grounds of The Domaine de Vizille extend over 100 hectares and have been labelled a "Jardin Remarquable". They are indeed lovely. In front of the chateau is the huge Grand Canal which is filled with Carp and other fish and has swans and geese swimming gracefully on its surface. Walking around the canal is obviously very popular with locals and tourists alike.
Close to the Château are parterre gardens, clipped trees and attractive footbridges. Further away are superb trees and woods and you can see an ancient fish farm. A little further away there is a tower giving a good view over the deer which live in the park.
The whole park is incredibly well maintained, especially given that it is free to enter.
The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
17:30 Arrival to Grenoble
Duration: 8 hours.
Price: EUR 440.00
(Car rental - at extra charge. Car category - on request)
Maximum commission to agencies - 15%