The official twinning link between Oxford City and Grenoble in south-eastern France goes back to the 1980s; right now we're planning the 25th anniversary celebrations due to take place in Oxford in 2014.
Though they have some features in common - a vibrant academic, cultural, scientific and economic life - the two cities are very different in size, geographical situation and history.
In the second half of the last century Grenoble was one of the fastest growing cities in France, swallowing up the neighbouring valley communities to form a metropolitan area of half a million people. It lies along the Isère river with Alpine ranges on all sides (on a clear day Mont Blanc can be glimpsed to the east).
A dynamic modern city that has refurbished and pedestrianised its once crumbling old town, Grenoble has hosted the winter Olympics (1968), moved its university out of the centre to a leafy campus, installed a shiny tram network and built a stunning new art museum (1994) and town hall.
With an ancient university, scientific research and modern hi-tech industry Grenoble makes a natural twin, sharing many interests - and yet it is fascinatingly different. See the Grenoble website for more information about the city.
Oxford Grenoble Association
Since 1989 there have been regular exchanges between Oxford and Grenoble including educational, sporting, professional and cultural.
The Oxford-Grenoble Association and its French counterpart Alliance Grenoble-Oxford continue to help forge links, organizing memorable visits and supporting their fellow citizens' cross-Channel interests. The voluntary associations have also provided a meeting-point for French and British people at home by putting on social events.
An annual visit to or from the lively "Capital of the French Alps" is arranged. Why not come along? See for yourself this dynamic city where the arts and sciences flourish and where one in two people practise sport.
Food and drink play a key role in this link - the twinning of an Oxford pub with a Grenoble cafe will therefore come as no surprise!
For more information on Oxford Grenoble Association contact: Jean Burrell, (01865) 249062 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.