Founded in 1624, the Sainte-Cécile convent was in turn a convent, barracks, cinema, dance hall and theater. Today it is the headquarters of the Glénat publishing house, but also houses a museum dedicated to Rembrandt's engravings, and a bookstore-boutique.
Founded on November 22, 1624, the day of Saint Cecilia's Day, which gives it its name, the convent and the adjoining chapel were built to house the religious community of the Bernardines of Grenoble.
The French Revolution and its upheavals led the Directory to expel the community in 1791. The buildings were then taken over by the army, which occupied them in various ways until the beginning of the 21st century.
Although the army remained present in the old conventual buildings, the chapel had a new vocation from 1925 onwards, as it became a cinema, the Rio. The projection booth, located on the first floor of the square and masking the large occulus, has now completely disappeared.
After the Second World War, a dance bar called L'enfer, was opened in the nuns' choir. It lasted until the 1970s, when the chapel became a theater, the Rio Theater, directed by Georges Lavaudant and then Yvon Chaix until the early 2000s.
The Glénat publishing house, today ranked 9th among French publishers, was founded in Grenoble in 1969 by Jacques Glénat, who bought the old convent in 2004, to set up his headquarters. The buildings were in bad condition and the various transformations had erased the soul of this place full of history.
Four years of work were necessary to restore the original character of the building. The first employees moved in in 2008 and the site was opened to the public for the first time in 2009 for the European Heritage Days.
Today, the Sainte-Cécile convent is the headquarters of the Glénat publishing house, the Glénat Fund for Heritage and Creation and the Fondation d'entreprise. It also houses the Rembrandt cabinet, a museum space dedicated to the engraved work of the artist, and a bookstore-boutique space.
Free of charge.
From 01/01 to 31/12
Opening hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 10 am and 12.30 pm and between 2 pm and 5.30 pm.
Tramway B, stop Sainte-Claire-les-Halles / A (stop Hubert Dubedout) / C (stop Hôtel de Ville)