The Bastille cable car

The Bastille cable car

Welcome to the Bastille


At the heart of Grenoble...
Welcome to the Bastille, a small fortified mountain at the crossroads of three Alpine valleys. Its cable car was the first in the world to be located in a city, before Cape town, Rio de Janeiro.

An unexpected visit...
In just a few minutes, day and night, the famous "bubbles" lift you into the air above the historic center and up to the Bastille. The site is accessible for everyone, with facilities to welcome strollers and physically challenged visitors.

A rare panoramic view...
Of the Alps, all the way to the massive Mont Blanc; of the city at sunset, as the lights come one.

Explorations and emotions...
In discovering the history of the places, the builders, the panoramas, and the techniques. Many artistic or athletic surprises await.


A classified heritage site

Registered on the supplementary inventory of Historical Monuments, the impressive military construction that we can see today was built in 1823 and 1848. The fortification system, remarkably well preserved, was designed to stave off an attack on the Dauphiné by the Savoy Dukedom from the direction of the Chartreuse mountains, where the border between France and Piedmont once lay.
On the city side, the ramparts, stairways, and casemate of the Bastille sprawl over 300 meters of vertical drop.

The remnants of the fortress builders


The Bastille is a solid limestone rock that has been transformed into a fortified center over the centuries. We can admire a bartizan--an overhanging wall-mounted turret--from the 16th century, when Lesdiguières built the first fortifications on the site.
We will also walk in the shadow of Vauban and the general Haxo, who is credited with creating the defensive system that we see today.
The summit fortress, a donjon flanked by two fortified branches, is equipped with vaulted stables, a moat, and a glacis.
Below, the Rabot citadel, were the soldiers' living quarters.

The fortified ensemble was never stormed. The Bastille didn't witness gunfire until 1944.

Other memorial sites


The city's history has been written on the site of the Bastille for over 2000 years.
The Chalemont steps, built on the old Roman road, remind us that activity was present here as early as 43 B.C.
The steps take us to the Sainte Marie d'en Haut convent, built in 1622.

The Dauphinois museum has been presenting its Baroque chapel and its collections here since 1967. Fans of ancient times and the early middle ages must cross the threshold of the Saint Laurent church (4th century) to visit the Saint Oyand crypt, going down into a funerary site unique in Europe.

In a more contemporary style from modern times, the Alpine Troops Memorial stands proud atop the Mont Jalla at 635 meters.


Thanks to the will of Paul Michoud, vice-president of the Chamber of the Tourist Industry, mayor of Grenoble Paul Mistral and his successor Leon Martin, a cable car for tourists was built on the slopes of the mountain in 1934, with its departure point on the left bank of the Isère river.

It would be the first urban cable car in the world.


Ever since, the Bastille has been a favorite outing for Grenoblois and tourists alike.

More than 13 million passengers have been transported since its opening in 1934.

With an average of 250,000 passengers per year and more than 4000 annual opening hours (the average for this type of installation in France is 1200 hours), the Bastille cable car boasts an exceptional performance!




Thanks to the renovation of the Bastille, to the dynamism of the Bastille Cable Car Authority team, and to the site's partners, the 1957 record for the most passengers-243,266-has already been beat.

In 2009, 288,649 passengers took to the Bastille on the famous "bubbles" of Grenoble!

The operation of this Public Establishment of Industrial Character (EPIC in French) and efforts to strive for improved quality service were crowned with an NF EN ISO 9001 : 2000 certificate in March 2003.


The cable car can transport a maximum of 6 people per car.