Albuquerque, New Mexico
In the heart of New Mexico lies the state’s most populated city – Albuquerque, which straddles the Rio Grande in the shadow of Sandia Mountains. The 2012 census state over a half a million residents making it the 32nd largest city in America. Its combined region including the cities of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Placitas, Corrales, Los Lunas, Belen, Bosque Farms, and Albuquerque – Santa Fe – Las Vegas combined statistical area, gave it a population of 1,146,049 in 2010. Founded in 1706 C.E. as a Spanish colonial outpost called “Ranchos de Alburquerque” it rapidly grew as a thriving center of New Mexico. Starting out as a farming community with a military outpost along the Camino Real, it was the sheep-herding center of its day. Spain setup its military garrison there in 1706 CE, and after 1821, Mexico set up theirs as well. The growing village of Spanish settlements in its early days became Albuquerque named as such by the then provincial governor Don Francisco cuervo y Valdes after the Spanish town of the same name. This Spanish town was named after the Alburquerque family dating from pre-12th century Iberia. The Portugese town it was named after is within the badojoz province of Extremadura region just 15 miles from the Portugese border. However others claim it was named after the Arabic “Al-Barquq” meaning “the plum” mixed with the derivative Galician word “albaricoque” or “the apricot” as it was a fruit brought to New Mexico by Spanish settlers in 1743 C.E. The town was built in the traditional Spanish village pattern with a central plaza surrounded by government buildings, a church, and residences. This is preserved to this day being home to local culture, commerce, and history being dubbed “Old Town Albuquerque” to separate it from modern day tech-querque. Once America took occupation of New Mexico, the city became headquarters for an American military garrison and quartermaster depot from 1846 to 1867. However during the Civil War, Albuquerque was occupied by Confederate troops under General Henry Hopkins Sibley until Union troops pushed them out in April 1862 CE during the Battle of Albuquerque. Once the rails came to town in 1880 CE, it quickly blossomed into New town or New Albuquerque as a haven for settlers, mountain men, and merchants. A true Spanish-Mexican outpost for the Wild West, it was always a place for rising crime.
Albuquerque is famous for its cultural and scenic beauty, especially with sites like Petroglyph National Monument, the Rio Grande River, its Spanish cultural heritage, and the Sandia Mountains. Today it is home to the University of New Mexico, Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, Presbyterian Health Services, and Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.
- El Patio de Albuquerque (Mexican restaurant)
- Flying Star Cafe
- Sandia Peak Inn
- Petroglyphs National Monument