Definitions

Isère

Isère

[ee-zair]
Isère, department (1990 pop. 1,025,300), SE France, in Dauphiné. Grenoble is the capital.

Isère (Arpitan: Isera, Occitan: Isèra) is a department, in the Rhône-Alpes (Rôno-Arpes in Arpitan) region in the east of France named after the Isère River.

History

Isère is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Dauphiné. Its area has been reduced twice, in 1852 and again in 1967.

Isère was also the name of the French ship which delivered the 214 boxes holding the Statue of Liberty.

Geography

Isère is part of the current region of Rhône-Alpes and is surrounded by the department of Rhône, Ain, Savoie, Hautes-Alpes, Drôme, Ardèche, and Loire.

Isère includes a part of the French Alps. The highest point in the department is the summit of La Meije at 3,988 meters. The Vercors Plateau dominates the west of the department.

Demographics

Inhabitants of the department are called Isérois.

Culture

The Grande Chartreuse is the mother abbey of the Carthusian order. It is located 14 miles north of Grenoble.

As early as the 13th century, residents of the north and central parts of Isère spoke a dialect of the Franco-Provençal language called Dauphinois. It continued to be spoken in rural areas of Isère into the 20th century.

Tourism

Isère features many ski resorts, including the Alpe d'Huez and Les Deux Alpes. It also hosts Coupe Icare, an annual festival of free flight, such as paragliding and hang-gliding, held at the world-renowned paragliding site at Lumbin.

Miscellaneous Topics

Isère produces the following cheeses: Bleu du Vercours-Sassenage, an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée cheese, and Saint-Marcellin.

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