The Bastille aerial ropeway – “Les Bulles de Grenoble”
The Bastille aerial ropeway provides access to a 19th-century military fort overlooking the town of Grenoble from 264 metres above and standing at an altitude of 476 metres on the edge of the Chartreuse mountain foothills. It is the Grenoble metropolitan area’s top tourist site, attracting more than 600,000 visitors per year.
The first aerial ropeway, opened in 1934, makes the “Bulles” of Grenoble one of the oldest urban aerial ropeways in the world. Thanks to the installation of the aerial ropeway, the Fort de la Bastille is gradually becoming a popular place for a stroll and a must-see tourist attraction by virtue of its exceptional view of the city of Grenoble and the surrounding mountains.
It was first replaced in 1951 and then in 1976. It was during this work that the departure station was rebuilt and that the operation changed for the current configuration of the aerial ropeway: a uni-directional reversible ropeway.
The tourist aerial ropeway is located in the centre of town; it is managed by the Grenoble aerial ropeway authority and carries more than 300,000 visitors per year, operating year-round with possible modulations in times of lower traffic, such as the removal of one carrier by group of carriers in winter.
Difference in elevation
720 passenger/ hour
Total number of cabins
Number of passengers per carrier
4000 opening hours/ year
12 million people transported
For the project
The sphere-shaped cabins dubbed “bubbles” created by Denis CREISSELS, and built by POMA, have become the symbol of the city of Grenoble.
Between Grenoble’s city garden and the banks of the Isère river, the drive station has an ultra-compact design for ideal for fitting into the environment despite the limited space. This configuration also reduced the length of work and earthmoving.
The return station is a “one-steel column” station with a “track sheave” system, which simplifies roller battery adjustments and maintenance operations.
The aerial ropeway was built in record time, involving 15 people from the engineering office for four months. A great achievement! Especially since the construction of a bicable uni-directional ropeway was a first for POMA, with grouped cabins each held by a fixed grip.
This natural promontory is one of Grenoble’s most beautiful viewpoints. A 360° panorama from which, in very clear weather, you can distinguish the contours of Mont-Blanc.
Each cabin is equipped with a fixed grip which facilitates maintenance operations.
The “Bastille” aerial ropeway in pictures
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