Let’s go visit the Necropolis said Isabelle gaily – it’s incredible. Intrigued, this is how I was beguiled to visit Grenoble’s very own City of the Dead one wintry December morning.
She’s right, it is incredible – in fact, it’s part Son et Lumiere installation, part cemetery and part active archeological dig – all housed in a very clever, steel and glass infrastructure for this is also Grenoble’s archeology museum.
A trip here is not perhaps the first activity that springs to mind when you visit the gateway to the French alps but it might be something you can squeeze in when you next visit as it is completely unique – and just a little awe-inspiring too.
The French are masters of the multi-media approach and the installations bring back nearly 2,000 years of history with former inhabitants living once again as ghostly figures. In watching the show, you begin to understand the history and the importance of this glorious part of the world.
Located in one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, the museum is effectively installed in the Church of St Laurent – itself something of a rarity in Europe. This church, and its accompanying Saint Oyand Crypt, are unsurprisingly designated Historic Monuments of France.
What I particularly like is the juxtoposition of some very contemporary, bright pieces of artwork with the more baroque altarpiece of the church. They tend to complement each other perfectly.
It’s free to enter but I would recommend taking the audio guide. It’s a must visit.
The Musée archéologique Grenoble-Saint Laurent is on Facebook/Musée archéologique Grenoble-Saint Laurent and I travelled as a guest of Rhône-Alpes Tourisme. Follow Rhône-Alpes Tourisme on Facebook/Rhône-Alpes Tourisme and on twitter: @ExperienceRA.
Contributor and photographer: Sue Lowry
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