Ile Verte

The Ile Verte neighborhood, which means "green island" in French, niches in a bend in the Isère river, where it juts off from the main parts of Grenoble. The area is the city's most densely populated neighborhood, thanks in part to a few remarkable apartment buildings: the three towers and another that locals simply call "the S-shaped building."

It's hard to miss the three towers—they define Grenoble's skyline and are on just about every postcard of the city. The white towers, which look vaguely like giant cheese graters, were built from 1963 to 1965 as part of the preparations for the 1968 Olympic games. Each 28-story tower measures 98 meters in height—at the time, the three towers were the tallest apartment buildings in Europe.

Grenoble's only cemetery within the city limits is also found in the Ile Verte neighborhood. The Saint Roch cemetery counts 25,000 tombs, including those of famous locals and politicians. During the late middle ages, a small chapel and hospital dedicated to Saint Roch stood on the site. It was here that plague victims came either to be cared for, as Saint Roch was believed to protect from the horrible disease. While not exactly a tourist attraction, the cemetery does feature a few remarkable tombs, as well as a military burial site where eight American soldiers, killed in WWI, are buried.

This neighborhood also offers visitors relaxing green areas with the Ile Verte Park that spreads around the foot of the three towers and the Michallon Park. This park belongs to the Musée de Grenoble and is dotted with large outdoor sculptures, making for a pleasant picnic area.  
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