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Grenoble is a city in the southeast of France, located in the French Alps in the region of the Rhône-Alpes. Due to its proximity of the mountains, as well as being the most populated city of the region, it is known in France as the ‘Capital of the Alps’. Grenoble is crossed by both the Drac and the Isere rivers, as well as being surrounded by the Vercors, Chartreuse and Belledonne mountain chains.
Grenoble gained stature in the 11th century by becoming the capital of the Dauphine however it was still just a modest parliamentary and garrison city on the borders of the kingdom of France. It grew in importance though through its industrial development, experiencing several periods of economic expansion. First up was its booming glove industry in the 18th and 19th centuries, then the development of a hydropower industry in the 19th and 20th centuries before its post-WWII economic boom symbolised by the holding of the 1968 Olympic Winter Games. Today the city is a significant scientific centre in Europe boasting numerous research centres.