LA MURE D’ISERE / LAFFREY / VIZILLE / TAVERNOLLES / GRENOBLE
On 7 March, Napoleon and his troops, having left Corps in the morning, reached La Mure in the late morning after crossing the strategic bridge of Ponthaut. At Laffrey, Napoleon faced a crucial moment. Just before entering the village, where the road narrows between the mountain and the lake, Royalist troops were sent from Grenoble with orders to stop the Emperor’s progression. At this point, Napoleon advanced alone and unarmed to face his enemies and declared: “Soldiers, if there anyone of you who wants to kill his Emperor, then he should fire: I am here.” Many of them had served under his orders and they lay down their weapons. They rallied to his cause, shouting “Long Live the Emperor!” This encounter was decisive for France’s destiny. By winning over the soldiers to his cause
without a single gunshot being fired, Napoleon succeeded in entering Paris on 20 March 1815, triggering the collapse of Louis XVIII’s monarchy.
Napoleon walked through the towns and villages of Vizille, Brié-et-Angonnes, Tavernolles, then Eybens, before reaching Grenoble in the evening. The Bonne gate was closed, but the wager was almost won since the town garrison was made up of few men and the soldiers guarding it were favourable to the Emperor. The siege lasted a short time, but the gate eventually gave way to the axes and battering ram. Napoleon entered the city, carried by the inhabitants. The Emperor chose to stay at Auberge des 3 Dauphins on Rue Montorge, run by Toussaint Labarre, once a guide in Egypt, rather than Hôtel de la Préfecture.
In his Memoires, Napoleon emphasized the importance of this moment: “Before Grenoble, I was an adventurer; in Grenoble, I became a Prince.”
Today, La Mure enjoys an exceptional panorama over the Grenoble is a surprising city, a high-tech haven with a prestigious university and a “City of Art and History in the heart of the Alps. The great 19th-century writer Stendhal’s birthplace perfectly embodies the author’s famous adage: “Grenoble, a mountain at the end of every street!”
With a diversified heritage ranging from Gallo-Roman times to the most innovative sustainable urban planning, the city offers visitors two millennia of history. For gastronomy, specialities of Isère can be discovered at the Halles de Sainte-Claire, such as Grenoble walnuts, Chartreuse liqueur, Saint-Marcellin and Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheese, “ravioles”, the famous Gratin Dauphinois, chicken with crayfish, etc.
• Equestrian statue of Napoleon at Prairie de la Rencontre (Meadow of the Meeting) in Laffrey NB: In 2015, after a major investment phase, the Prairie will
be ready to host the commemoration of the Bicentenary of Napoleon’s return with new infrastructures.
• In Tavernolles, a commemorative plaque on the former Auberge aux Trois Fleurs de Lys (where Napoleon stopped), today’s Restaurant-Pizzeria Napoléon.
• Auberge Les Trois Dauphins, today Auberge Napoléon, 7 Rue Montorge in Grenoble
• Rue de Bonne in Grenoble, where the gate through which Napoleon entered the city once stood.
Alps. It offers many hiking opportunities and thrill seekers can test their mettle with the Grand Saut at Pont de Ponsonnas, famous for bungee jumping (107m/351ft high). The village of Laffrey is popular for fishing and swimming. Located 900m above sea level, the natural lake with its ever-changing blue waters offers all water sports: equipped beaches, swimming, rental of boats and pedal boats, rowing, fishing, diving, windsurfing, sailing and kitesurfing.
In Vizille today, the castle, owned by the General Council of the Isère département, is home to the Museum of the French Revolution, the only museum in France dedicated to this period in history.
• Hôtel-Restaurant Murtel*** – la Mure: www.hotel-murtel.com
• Hôtel-Restaurant du Grand Lac** – Laffrey La Plage: www.hotel-grand-lac-isere.fr
• Hôtel Sandra – Vizille: www.hotelsandra.fr
• Restaurant Pizzeria Napoléon – Tavernolles 1307, Route Napoléon: +33 (0)4 76 72 00 15
• Hôtel-Restaurant de la Commanderie*** – Eybens: www.commanderie.fr
• Restaurant l’Auberge Napoléon – Grenoble