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Grenoble - Biviers

Distance 11.0km
Time 5h
+ 801m
- 566m


This description aims to provide an idea of the activities that shaped Grenoble and its surrounding regions around the period of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes when refugees were passing through the area.
Iron has been known in the region of the Belledonne massif since Antiquity. First, the veins near the surface were extracted, and then mines were built. The quality of cast iron was dependent on the wood used to heat it. Once wood became rare and expensive, furnaces were improved to increase their heating capacity and wood was replaced by coke. This allowed the iron from Lorraine to be produced at a lower price.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the forests were depleted by the development of furnaces, forest clearing for agriculture, and the construction of the navy in Toulon. Masts and spars for sailboats had to be light, resistant, flexible and elastic. To have these characteristics, resinous trees had to grow slowly with small rings and have long cold seasons. Conditions that were characteristic of pine and fir trees in the mountains. A warehouse to stock wood for the Chartreuse Navy was located in La Tronche.
Another activity that used up the surrounding woods was pottery, which was very present in Grenoble and the Grésivaudan in the 17th century. (La Terrasse, La Flachère, Saint-Pancrasse…)
Stone was the other material, in addition to wood, used for construction. In Grenoble, excavated limestone came mostly from the quarries in Fontanil, Sassenage and Porte de France. We can also note the quarries that produced beautiful soft stone in Laffrey, Tullins and Voreppe. The rock for cement was excavated from Champs and Vizille.
Lime was used to cement stones together and to lime the ground in the Isère Valley whose soil is rather clay heavy. Thanks to this, peasants were able to evolve past subsistence agriculture and sell part of their harvest.
The Isère River, which is navigable starting in Montmélian, probably carried rafts and canoes since the Neolithic period. The Gallo-Romains developed an important shipping trade through the use of flat bottom boats and this led to the creation of numerous rural ports. There were also the following urban ports for Grenoble: the La Roche port on the right bank, and the Madeleine, Citadelle and Graille ports on the left bank.
The neighborhood of l'île Verte, which is located in a turn of the Isère at the northern end of Grenoble, was relatively independent from the city center up until the 18th century. It then became an important path towards the Grésivaudan valley thanks to the construction of the Ile Verte Bridge, which connects Grenoble to La Tronche.
In the 18th century, La Tronche was a lively village with many artisans such as tanners, potters, and rope makes. On the hills of the Rachais, above the Bastille, vineyards were developed. The plains were used to cultivate hemp. Ferries allowed people to cross from one bank to the other at various spots.
The Claix Ferry was set up by Lesdiguières, in the 17th century, for the transport of produce to Grenoble's markets. Although a remarkable bridge was built over the Drac, peasants continued to use the ferry because of its reasonable price.
The only ancient bridge that still exists today is the pedestrian bridge built during the Roman period (and regularly rebuilt after rises in the Isère River).
The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes destabilized the glove makers in Grasse, who were Grenoble's main rival, and allowed Grenoble to dominate the market. The end of the 17th century and beginning of the 18th century were thus periods of great economic prosperity for the city and its surrounding regions such as the Grésivaudan.
Another important factor that influenced the layout of the Grésivaudan valley in the 17th century was the form and orientation of properties which were generally narrow, linear and rather long. Located on hills perpendicular to the Isère, the plots usually included some form of access to the river depending on how far away they were and how high the hill was. The lower lands were used for agriculture due to their fertility and humidity. But they also suffered from rises in the river. Further up the hillside, before reaching the woods, we can find prairies and vineyards in the dry and rocky soil. 
After the Religious Wars, there was a large expansion of agriculture. The population wanted to plow every inch of the land and deforest all the wood from the river up. However, this deforesting was slowed by the floods of November 14th and 30th, 1651.
Source: Histoires des chemins du savoir-faire de la Vallée de l’Isère au pied de la bastille. Document by the Association Trans’Savoir-Faire created in 2007, an initiative of the l’APHID, Patrimoine et développement, Patrimoine Meylannais, Union du quartier Ile Verte and l’Union de quartier petite tronche. A temporary exposition on this subject took place in 2007 with the help of the SIPAVAG and the municipality of La Tronche.
Pierre Blanc's blog – Biviers. 
L’endiguement de l’Isère en Grésivaudan by Maurice Agard in la Revue de géographie alpine, 1942.
Vue sur Grenoble depuis la Bastille - Vignes au-dessus de La Tronche - Le chemin des processions - Sentier au-dessus de Biviers -

Tourist information











  La Tronche

Affiche Conf CANNUYER Christian 2019-04-27 Coul

  La Tronche

Sans titre-1

  La Tronche

Oiseau Joost

  La Tronche


  La Tronche


Hébert museum park    La Tronche

photo pour site O.T.

Magnificent park with the white water lily bassin, the Roman mask fountain, the reflecting pool, and the rose garden.

Téléphone : 04 76 42 97 35



  La Tronche


Mairie de Corenc    Corenc

Eglise saint Pierre    Corenc

Medical science museum of Grenoble    La Tronche


Medical sciences museum of Grenoble was created in 1992 thanks to the initiative of several hospital decision makers concerned about preserving the history of their institution.

Téléphone : 04 76 76 51 44

Castle of Bouqueron    Corenc


Dominating the valley of Grésivaudan, the former castle of Bouquéron is built on a rocky escarpment at the entrance of Corenc, under the cliffs of Saint-Eynard, in a protected site.

Téléphone : 04 76 18 50 00

Saint Ferjus of la Tronche church    La Tronche

Church built during the last century. Very beautiful painting by Hébert: Our Lady of Deliverance.

Téléphone : 04 38 38 00 38

Villa des Alpes Park    La Tronche

Small park for relaxation and sport

Téléphone : 04 76 63 77 00

Le Jardin de l'Eygala    Corenc





  La Tronche


The renovated property of painter Ernest Hébert invites visitors to step into the artist's 19th century world and to discover his work through the presentation of his collections and of 17th century frescoes.

Téléphone : 04 76 42 97 35


Posté par véronique le 07/05/2019 :


le centre Saint Hugues est maintenant très bien indiqué à partir de la piste. nous avons été ravies de l'accueil à Saint Hugues.chambres très confortables et repas parfaits, site très calme et paisible.

Posté par Johannes le 14/10/2016 :

Attention ! Le poteau directionnel "La Buisse" qui indique la direction du village de Biviers et du Centre Saint-Hugues se situe à droite dans le bois, bien en retrait de la piste. Immédiatement après le réservoir d'eau il faut donc suivre le sentier balisé qui évolue parallellement à la piste, sinon on risque de passer sans voir le poteau qui n'est pas visible depuis la piste !!!

Posté par Johannes Melsen le 07/01/2012 :

A la fin de cette étape et non loin de la piste forestière qu'il faudra à nouveau rejoindre pour entâmer la prochaine étape vers Saint-Pancrasse, se situe le Centre de Saint-Hugues de Biviers.

En dehors des périodes de vacances scolaires ce centre peut accueillir des randonneurs pour une nuit.

Tél. 04 76 90 35 97

Posté par Johannes Melsen le 08/11/2011 :

Pour les randonneurs avec des ânes cette étape n'est possible qu'à partir de la Vierge Noire. 


Tourist Offices

Accommodation Partners Accommodation Partners

  Other accommodationBiviers


Other Accommodations

Hôtel Les Trois Roses    HotelCorenc


Ideally situated in a residential, nearby Innovallée and only 2.5km away from Grenoble, the Hotel Les Trois Roses - Inter Hotel - welcomes you in a refined and warm atmosphere.

Téléphone : 0476893961

Résidence Appart'City Grenoble Inovallée    Tourist residenceMontbonnot-Saint-Martin


New building (2012) 90 studios and apartments at the heart of the Inovallée technology park (350 high-tech companies). Adjoined the “Brasserie Quartier Gabriel”, offering also 3 rooms for seminars.

Téléphone : 0476151350



The Hotel Dauphin Blanc, a charming hotel close to Grenoble is pleased to welcome you. Surrounded by mountains,Hotel Dauphin Blanc is situated 10 minutes away from the center of Grenoble.

Téléphone : 04 76 52 26 60




A friendly meeting place in a warm and modern restaurant. Traditional dishes, simple and home made. Appetizers dinners, tapas, nice terrace garden possibility to play “pétanque”.

Téléphone : 04 76 52 40 73



La Villa, the biggest cabaret dinner show in the Rhone-Alpes region, themed night parties Tuesday and Saturday nights.

Téléphone : 04 76 49 29 69

Quartier Gabriel    Montbonnot-Saint-Martin


Discover a unique place combining brasserie , bar, lounge , terrace, seminar rooms and private lounge. Our contemporary space open for various prestations and offers live entertainment and DJ club mix

Téléphone : 0476630821


la Cave

A new restaurant for relaxing and pleasure. Large variety of refined meals, dailly specials and seasonal recipes. Corner lounge and panoramic terrace with splendid view.

Téléphone : 04 76 77 05 96

La Brasciol    RestaurantLa Tronche


Le café des Alpes    RestaurantCorenc


Le Duo    RestaurantLa Tronche


Dans un cadre chaleureux, venez découvrir une cuisine familiale traditionnelle basée sur des plats des produits frais. L’accueil sympathique, et l’assiette gourmande, vous feront passer de très bons moments.

Téléphone : 04 76 44 62 23

La Corne d'Or    RestaurantCorenc


  RestaurantLa Tronche


A Grenoble institution when it comes to fine dining, this mountaintop establishment has been delighting diners for 5 generations!

Téléphone : 04 76 42 09 47

Le Corenc    RestaurantCorenc


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