Grenoble is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of where the river Drac joins the Isére. Located in the Rhone-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the Department of Isére. The proximity of its mountains, as well as its size, has led to the city being known as the "Capital of the Alps". Its history goes back more than 2,000 years ago to a time when it was a small Gallic village.
The city grew in importance through its industrial development, having experienced several periods of economic expansion in the last centuries. It started with a booming glove industry in the 18th century, followed by the development of a strong hydropower industry in the late 19th century and ended with its post-World War II economic boom symbolized by the holding of the X Olympic Winter Games in 1968. The city is now a significant scientific centre in Europe.
About the twinning agreement
The relationship between Bethlehem and Grenoble began in 1997 when a delegation from Grenoble visited Bethlehem with the intention of extending cooperation in the fields of health and house rehabilitation. Other visits were made in 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2009 where a convention of “De-centralised Cooperation” was signed by Mr. Michel Destot, the then Mayor of Grenoble, and Mr. Victor Bartarseh, the then Mayor of Bethlehem.
The areas of cooperation were decided to be in institutional support, economy, tourism, crafts and culture. There was also an encouragement for exchange visits between universities and hospitals of Grenoble and Bethlehem, and between the inhabitants and associations of the two partners.
Cordial relations have continued since then, with invitations from both sides to visit each other. In 2012 on the request of Grenoble, Bethlehem submitted a list of potential projects for collaboration in infrastructure and environment, culture and education, physical and psychological health, and heritage and support for institutional capacity. This was followed by visits by both sides to each other.