The Rachais Mountain, which belongs to the Chartreuse Massif, overhangs the city of Grenoble. On its upper shelf, a Middle Ages stronghold was established but is now hardly visible. Its lower shelf was too "embastillé" (fortified) since the Middle Ages but between 1823 and 1845 a whole set of defense was built. It is the most complete example of military architecture of the XIXth century. It is made of a fortress on top of the hill and of half buried bastions that go down to the Isère, in the valley. It has been the key of the protection system of Grenoble and of the Alps front.
It was completed by a whole series of forts, on each shelf of the mountains around Grenoble. The army has sold them all in the 80s.
As early as 1934, La Bastille was connected to the city center by a teleferique. It was the first city teleferique in the world. A completely new teleferique was built in the 70s with 5 small cabins instead of a large one, locally known as "les Bulles" (the bubbles). The Bastille trip with the teleferique is a must. It offers a birds eye view on the roofs of the "quartier Saint Laurent", the oldest part of Grenoble and after a few minutes a panoramic view on the surrounding massifs and on the city. It is possible either to go down to the city by the teleferic or to take one of the trails that follow the fortifications and reach the valley.
From the railway station, when you reach the Isère river (200 m), by the "Rue de Belgrade" (this photo), walk another 200m to the ''téléphérique de la Bastille''. It will take you in a few minutes to the ''Fort de La Bastille'', a Vauban built fort that dominate the city with a wonderful landscape. When you are in the ''bubble'' of the telepherique, you will see on the opposite bank of the Isere, the oldest part of Grenoble, ''Quartier Saint Laurent'' and an interesting museum in the ancient convent "Sainte Marie d'en haut" (upper Saint Mary).
If you enlarge the photo, you will see the road sign "rue de Belgrade"
Most cities have their focal point, whether it be a main square or famous landmark and Grenoble is no exception.
The Bastille is, or was, a military fortress overlooking the city, but it won’t be for the history that people really come up here for. It will almost certainly be for the views which are fantastic, so my first tip here is to try and get up here on a clear day.
Situated across the River Isère from the town, most visitors take the cable car to the top. Locally known as ‘The Bubbles’, the cable car is an integral part of the fun to get to the Bastille even though there’s a path that zigzags its way up to the top. If you found the cable car a bit too exciting though you can always take the path back down.
It’s worth bearing in mind that around 300,000 people take the cable car each year and there always seems to be a queue for it (€7.05 - Dec 2012) - but it’s definitely worth the wait. It’s also worth mentioning that the ride is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
The first thing you’ll probably want to do when arriving at the top is to take in the views, and although there are several vantage points, the main one is the Vauban Belvedere, reached by going up two separate flights of steps. The views are superb and if it’s clear you may well see Mont Blanc in the distance some 70 miles away.
There are a few other things of general interest up here including a military museum, art centre and gift shop. At some point though you may want to take some refreshment and the Restaurant du Teleferique serves up some good fare very efficiently. If you just want a drink the panoramic terrace outside takes some beating.
Most of the things I’ve described here will be for the casual tourist but the Bastille is situated at the southerly end of the Chartreuse mountain range and the hills and mountains beckon for people who enjoy the great outdoors.
Whether you come up here for a short visit or a long hike I guarantee you won’t forget the views over Grenoble with the Isère and Drac embracing it below and the mountains all around. Whatever you do in Grenoble don’t miss coming up here.
Small fortified mountain with it is cable car.The first Urban lift ever built. In just a few minutes it will take you up to 475 m. to discover one of the famous panorama of the Alps and the fortress. Nigt time is full of lights. I cannot recommend if you have high anxiety.
Visit the Bastille, and the pizzerias in the river line.
Bastille is a dramatic mountain in the middle of grenoble, you have to pay to visit, in France you have to pay for everything, it is socks!!
The Bastille fort is on a hill accesible by a cable-car.On the way up,there is an interesting museum;then you can go on walking up but it's better to go down up to the cable-car.