Grenoble is a city of around 158,000 inhabitants (550,000 taking into account the metropolitan area) located in south-eastern France, in the Rhône-Alpes region that encompasses the French Alps.
The city advertises itself as the "Capital of the Alps", due to its size and its proximity to the mountains. Grenoble's history goes back over 2,000 years, to a time when it was a small Gallic village. It gained somewhat in stature by becoming the capital of the Dauphiné in the 11th century, but Grenoble remained for most of its history a modest parliamentary and garrison city on the borders of the kingdom of France. Industrial development increased the prominence of Grenoble through several periods of economic expansion over the last three centuries. This started with a booming glove industry in the 18th and 19th centuries, continued with the development of a strong hydropower industry in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, and ended with a post-World War II economic boom symbolized by the holding of the X Olympic Winter Games in 1968. The city has grown to be one of Europe's most important research, technology, and innovation centers, with each fifth inhabitant working directly in these domains. The population of the city (commune) of Grenoble was 158,180 at the 2016 census, while the population of the Grenoble metropolitan area (French: aire urbaine de Grenoble or "agglomération grenobloise") was 687,985.