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Albany Information

On the Hudson River's western edge and about 150 miles to the north from New York City, Albany is the state of New York's capital city. Besides government offices, Albany has seven institutions for higher learning. With an attractive downtown district, the area has an intriguing mix of architectural styles dating back a few hundred years before the United States' government began. The rich history and contemporary life of Albany combine easily in this fascinating state capital.

Now, the story of the region begins before recorded history with various tribes of the Algonquian people who are long-time natives. However, the urban center seen today has been chartered without interruption since early colonial times. In the early 1600s, Henry Hudson of the Netherlands was the first European to settle permanently in the area.

Consequently, a fort had to be built to protect the area in the 1620s because the French fur traders were angry when the Dutch took over their fur trade with the Native Americans in the region. Eventually in the 1680s, the growing town got its first official charter by the English who had taken the region from the Dutch. Today the architectural influences of Dutch, early English colonial and American as well as modern is evident within the city.

Still, local history includes much more than its buildings, education, and downtown modernization. The economy has been boosted through the centuries by furs, agriculture, and beer. Iron was significant for some years and waned. Over time, other industries, technologies, and businesses have successfully assisted Albany's financial stability.

Then with its central location not far from other major urban centers and along the Hudson River, transportation has long been important. The Erie Canal and the steamboat were started in Albany. On land, the turnpike and later interstate and state thoroughfares made way for traffic between Albany and other major cities in New England as well as New York.

Travelers to Albany can enjoy all it offers, and they must take note of its varied seasons and extreme climate. Winters are cold with much snow and temperatures dipping below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, while summers are definitely hot and humid with temperatures hovering near 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, the culture of the city makes it a pleasant place to visit and live. The richness of Albany's immigrant influence as well as its history and economy has assisted in the city's success.

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