The tower is the only remaining vestige of Grenoble's medieval fortifications still visible today. They were built from 1374 onwards to protect the old town of Isle.
The Tour de l'Isle, which is part of the museum, is 30 meters high and has machicolations. It was built in 1381. Completed in 1418, it was used as a town hall and then as an arsenal.
This massive and rectangular building, topped by machicolations, remains above all a defensive building of rudimentary conception.
However, it soon became the venue for meetings of the City Council and the municipal archives, including the famous chain book.
This book contained the charters, liberties, privileges and franchises of the city of Grenoble and was attached to the wall with an iron chain to prevent theft.
The Isle Tower was thus in a way the first city hall.
As soon as he arrived in Grenoble, in 1591, the Duke of Lesdiguières requisitioned the tower and transformed it into an arsenal while he built a military citadel around it, of which two sections of walls with short loopholes and an elegant watchtower still remain in the immediate vicinity, at the corner of the Jongkind quay and the Place Lavalette. It was at this time that the flat mullioned windows that can still be seen on the tower's facades were built.
Since 1994, the tower is linked by a modern footbridge to the Grenoble museum, of which it is an extension.
Tour de l'Isle
place Lavalette38000 GRENOBLE
From 01/01 to 31/12, daily.
Tramway B, stop Notre-Dame museum
The Tour de l'Isle regularly hosts temporary exhibitions.