23 Interesting Facts about Albuquerque, New Mexico
1. Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico and the seat of Bernalillo county.
2. Albuquerque is situated on the Rio Grande river, 62 miles (100 km) southwest of Santa Fe.
3. At an altitude of 5,314 feet (1,619 meters), Albuquerque has an annual average rainfall of only 8.13 inches (206.5 mm).
4. Temperatures in Albuquerque range from a January average maximum of 46° F (8° C) to a July average maximum of 91° F (33° C). Because of its equable climate, it is famous as a health center.
5. The trading center of a farm region where sheep and livestock are raised, Albuquerque is also the headquarters for banking interests and government agencies.
6. Also important to the city's economy are nuclear research, health and medical services, and tourism.
7. Several military installations are situated here. Kirtland Air Force Base is a weapons research center in Albuquerque. It includes the National Atomic Museum and the Sandia Laboratories, which conducts research in solar energy and laser technology and is the state's largest private employer. Sandia Base is concerned with aerospace nuclear testing and contains a weapons museum.
8. The Lovelace Institutes in Albuquerque are engaged in biomedical and technological research.
9. The University of New Mexico, one of the largest universities in the Southwest, has a campus in Albuquerque. It contains a fine arts center, a museum of anthropology, and a museum of geology.
10. Other educational institutions in Albuquerque include the National College, Nazarene Indian Bible College, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, and Albuquerque Technical-Vocational Institute.
11. The Old Town Plaza, dating to 1706, reflects the character of 18th-century Albuquerque. Adjacent to it is the Church of San Felipe de Neri (1706), once used as a fortress against the Native Americans.
12. The Albuquerque’s "new town" section, planned in 1880, is quite different. In the 1970s an extensive urban-renewal program included a multimillion-dollar civic plaza, convention center, and library.
13. The city's cultural institutions comprise the Albuquerque Little Theatre, the Albuquerque Civic Light Opera, and the Albuquerque Ballet Company.
14. The city is also the home of the New Mexico Symphony.
15. The New Mexico State Fair is held in September on a 220-acre (90-ha) fairground in the heart of the city.
16. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History was opened in Albuquerque in 1986.
17. To the east of the city, the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway lifts passengers 10,378 feet (3,163 meters) for a scenic view and excellent skiing.
18. Albuquerque was founded in 1706 by the Spanish provincial governor, Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez, who named it in honor of the duke of Alburquerque, the viceroy of New Spain.
19. The first r in the duke's title was eventually omitted from the name of the city. In 1846, during the Mexican War, the area that is now New Mexico was occupied by United States troops, and it became a United States territory in 1848.
20. Albuquerque remained an American military outpost until 1870.
21. During the Civil War Albuquerque was occupied briefly by Confederate forces.
22. In 1883 Albuquerque became the county seat, and in 1891 it was incorporated as a city.
23. With the advent of the nuclear age after World War II, the city of Albuquerque attained its accelerated rate of growth.