Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux Travel Guide

  • Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux
    by JLBG
  • Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux
    by JLBG
  • Grenoble only urinals
    Grenoble only urinals
    by JLBG

Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux Things to Do

  • Tour Perret, in Grenoble

    Auguste Perret (12 février 1874 - 25 février 1954) was born in Ixelles (Belgium) in a French family of builders: his grandfather was a quarry master, his father first a stone-drafter and later a stone-cutter. His father took part in the Commune de Paris and after it's crushing, had to run away and take shelter in BelgiumAuguste Perret entered the...

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  • La Casamaures

    The Casamaures is a masterpiece of XIXth century mold concrete art. It was built in 1855 outside the city walls of Grenoble, in a place named "la Guinguette", in the little city of Saint Martin le Vinoux. Nobody knows why Joseph Jullien, a wealthy citizen from Grenoble decided to build an oriental styled house in this place, then called "Villa les...

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  • Maisons remarquables : Rue Félix Poulat

    This building, Rue Félix Poulat has an extraordinary décor. Do not miss to enlarge to view it better!Once a mold was prepared, it was easy to use it as many times as you wanted, which allowed to repeat the same motif many time. It is fast and inexpensive compared to stone carving. On this building, they took all the advantage of the system

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  • The invention of concrete

    In 1793, John Smeaton found that the calcination of limestone containing clay gave a lime that hardened under water (hydraulic lime). In 1796, James Parker from England patented a natural hydraulic cement by calcinations of nodules of impure limestone containing clay, called Parker's Cement or Roman Cement. However these nodules were rare.In 1812,...

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  • The concrete industry

    The first industrial concrete plant, "Ciments de la Porte de France" began to work in 1842 in Saint Martin le Vinoux. Other followed in the surroundings such as around Vif, south to Grenoble. Between 1842 and 1925, there were several dozens of concrete plants around Grenoble. "Ciments de la Porte de France" and "Ciments Vicat" are the main. In...

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  • Association La Casamaures d'hier et...

    The building had been abandoned and was inhabited by tramps when in 1981, a group of Grenoble artists decided to rehabilitate this masterpiece. There are now 2 associations that have it in charge. Association La Casamaures d'hier et d'aujourd'hui13 bis, rue de la Résistance - 38 950 St Martin le VinouxT?l : 04.76.47.13.50.Internet :...

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  • Maisons remarquables : Les 3 Dauphins

    This building was the "Hôtel des Trois Dauphins" (three dolphins), the luxury hotel of Grenoble. At the end of the 60th, it closed and was sold. Instead of putting it down, the front only was kept and an entirely new building was built behind. The décor is also made of mold concrete

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  • Maisons remarquables ? non !

    These two houses on the right are ordinary houses, not in Grenoble city center, but they were build using the same principle of molded concrete though the decor is much more simple. They are typical of the many "ordinary" houses built in that period.The third on the left was built in the 60s in the style that was the most often found during that...

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  • Maisons remarquables : Grand hôtel

    Maisons remarquables : the Grand hôtel, rue de la République in Grenoble is another example of the houses that used the molded cement décor. I passed often in front of this place and never supected that the statues on top of the entrance were not stone carved !

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  • The Banque de France, Bd Edouard Rey

    The Banque de France building was built around 1920 Boulevard Edouard Rey in Grenoble. There is no fancy décor, but a building that looks very austere though it tries to match with the Lesdiguères Mansion shown in another tip ! It, is made of mold concrete.

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  • The ancient Chambre de Commerce et...

    This building of the ancient "Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie" (Trade and Industry Chamber), Avenue Félix Viallet in Grenoble, is an example of this XIXth century concrete building. All the statues, bas-relief, etc… are made of mold concrete as well as the corniches. Usually, only the ground level was built with actual stone but it is not always...

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  • Tour Perret

    The "Tour Perret" was built in Grenoble in 1925 as a landmark indicator at the entrance of what is now called the «parc Paul Mistral ? for the « Exposition Internationale de la Houille Blanche ? (International White Coal Fair that dealt with production, transport and distribution of electric power)It is 80 meters high, octagonal, made in concrete...

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  • La Casamaures, the sundials

    The "Tournesol" workshop has created four sundials. Three are shown here on the base wall of the Casamaures. I suppose they give respectively the solar hour on the right, the month on the left and the zodiacal sign in the middle.

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  • Association "le fil d'Ariane"

    The other association in charge of La Casamaures is "le fil d'Ariane"8 rue Duployé, 381000 Grenobletel 04 76 85 16 15fax 04 76 46 62 39fil-dariane2@wanadoo.frAn iron acrobat holding a star walks on an iron ring tighten between two walls.

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  • La Casamaures, visit

    Most of the building has been painted with a ochraceous lime wash while the embossed parts were painted in dark blue. The outside can be freely visited but the inside is visited only by appointment. Two slideshows are available, one on the "Casamaures", the other entitled "L'aventure de l'or gris, architectures grenobloises de ciment"

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  • La Casamaures, 52 identical columns

    Each face of this small palace is decorated with mold sculptures. It is built on 52 columns that were engineered (molded) in a plant with natural fast concrete. Molding allowed engineering them easily and quickly. The arabesques and interlaces have all been mould too, which allowed to get as many of them as wanted.

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  • Maisons remarquables : Le Dauphiné

    "Le Dauphiné Libéré" is the local daily newspaper, following the "Petit Dauphinois" before WW2. They own a building, a whole block between Avenue d'Alsace Lorraine, Rue Denfert-Rochereau and Boulevard Gambetta, where there were both the editing staff and the printing facility. In the 80s, the printing facilities were moved to an out of town place...

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  • Maison des Banques, Rue Béranger

    This building, Rue Béranger, between Place Victor Hugo and the Lycée Lesdiguières in Grenoble, has always been a bank, under different names. It is classified as "Monument historique". It is not open for visit but the ground level is open to the public as a bank, not really for visit but if you ask kindly, may be … The staircase is superb and leads...

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Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux Favorites

  • Men only ! Not so sure !

    This mold concrete urinals are typical of Grenoble and as far as I know are not found elsewhere. They were drawn by the city architect Bui in 1860 and were in the catalogue of the Mollaret et Cuynat company that sold various prefabricated elements made in mold concrete. French writer Boris Vian wrote : "Noter les somptueuses pissotières à une...

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  • Hôpital Civil, 1913

    The "Hôpital Civil" ("Civil" means that it is not run by nuns) was finished building in 1913 outside the city, in La Tronche. The main entrance, shown here, is entirely decorated with mold concrete. It is now a subsidiary of the "Hôpital Albert Michallon", built in 1970-74.The old hospital, in Grenoble city center, was destroyed and the "Banque de...

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  • Hôpital Civil, 1913

    The "Hôpital Civil" ("Civil" means that it is not run by nuns) was finished building in 1913 outside the city, in La Tronche. The main entrance is entirely decorated with mold concrete. The old hospital, in Grenoble city center, was destroyed and the "Banque de France" build in its place (see other tip).

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