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Albuquerque Information

Albuquerque, situated in central New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande River, has a long and rich history. The strong links to the city's diverse history can be seen in places like Petroglyph National Monument, Old Town Albuquerque, and historic Route 66 that traverses the city with its classic neon signs.

Albuquerque's history begins with the Native American culture that spans thousands of years and continues through the founding of the city in 1706. The most recent contribution to its history is its modern development into a center for research and the high-tech industries.

Albuquerque is just over 300 years old and its complex history begins as long ago as the year 2,000 B.C. when the people of the Pueblo Indian tribes lived in that part of the Southwest. When the Europeans began to come to the area, they found a thriving culture that was far advanced and possessed superior stone masonry, ceramic, and arts and crafts skills. These skills are still practiced today and can be seen in the beautiful pottery, rugs, jewelry, and other crafts for which they are famous.

Explorers from Spain under the leadership of Francisco de Coronado began to arrive in the Albuquerque area around 1540. With King Philip of Spain's consent, colonists settled the new city along the Rio Grande River and at the foot of the mountains. The governor of this new colony named the new city after the Duke of Alburquerque in Spain. Eventually, the first 'r' was removed and the city became known as Albuquerque.

The first building put up by these religious settlers was a small chapel constructed of adobe and the plaza around the chapel was filled with small homes. Today, the San Felipe de Neri Church stands on the same spot in Albuquerque's Old Town where the chapel stood. This plaza and especially the church are still the center of Old Town and Old Town is considered the heart of Albuquerque.

Albuquerque has grown into a major city of the Southwest United States and with a varied population. Ground breaking research facilities can be found here like those at the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratory. But Albuquerque proudly hangs on to the traditions of its ancient past, making it one of the more interesting places in the country to visit.

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