Listed as one of the 7 wonders of Dauphiné, the Tour-sans-Venin dominates the city, at the foot of the hamlet of Pariset.
Leaving Grenoble via Seyssinet-Pariset in the direction of Saint-Nizier du Moucherotte: without taking any notice of the bend in the road, the signpost directs you to turn right towards the Tour Sans Venin. Climb the last few metres on foot towards the little chapel.
Down below, the town rustles with regularity, small light cubes arranged between the meandering streets: you can recognize the Three Towers opening onto the Grésivaudan valley. Facing the impassable Belledonne, the view stops at its delicately carved, snow-covered crests.
To the right of the panorama, a beautiful escape route takes the eye southwards along the Route Napoléon. To the left of the landscape, the impassive Chartreuse keeps a watchful eye on the conurbation, contrasting the gentle waves of the mountains, an almost aquatic minerality, with the hyper-technology of the Synchrotron nestling at their feet.
Beyond, the summit of Mont Blanc makes a timid appearance. Can you really see it from here? In silence, the orientation table on the promontory confirms his surprise.
But the Tour sans Venin is above all the unfinished legend of one of the Seven Wonders of the Dauphiné. The 13th-century wall, with its ancient stonework carved by the years, stands unperturbed as visitors try to unravel the mystery of its history. In the whispering sound of grasses rustling in the wind, we descend in silence, skirting the wall of the small cemetery so as not to disturb the ambient rest.
All year round.