Albuquerque abbreviated as ABQ, is the most populous city in the US state of New Mexico.
The city is situated on the flood plain of the Rio Grande in central Mew Mexico.
As of January 2020, the population of Albuquerque is about 560,000 people. It is the 32nd most populous city in the United States.
The city covers a total area of 491 square kilometers (189 square miles).
Albuquerque has one of the highest elevations of any major city in the US, ranging from 1,490 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level near the Rio Grande to over 1,950 meters (6,700 feet) above sea level in the foothill areas of Sandia Heights and Glenwood Hills.
The area was the site of Native American pueblos (villages) when Europeans first arrived in 1540.
Founded in 1706 by Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdés, governor and captain general of New Mexico, it was named for the duke of Alburquerque, then viceroy of New Spain (the first r was later dropped).
Possession of the town, along with the rest of New Mexico, passed to Mexico in 1821 and then to the United States in 1846. These developments brought increased commerce and Albuquerque prospered as a trading hub and US Army post.
The city grew rapidly in the early 20th century, and then even faster after World War II when it became a major scientific and military hub.
During the 21st century, the Albuquerque population has continued to grow rapidly.
As a modern-day cultural and political centre, Albuquerque has long played a secondary role to the state capital, Santa Fe, which lies some 100 kilometers (60 miles) to the northeast.
Old Town is the historic original town site of Albuquerque laid out by Spanish colonists in the 1700s. It is listed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties as the Old Albuquerque Historic District, and is protected by a special historic zoning designation by the city. The present-day district contains about ten blocks of historic adobe buildings surrounding Old Town Plaza. On the plaza’s north side stands San Felipe de Neri Church, a Spanish colonial church constructed in 1793. Old Town is a popular tourist destination with a large number of restaurants, shops, and galleries.
Albuquerque Museum is located in Old Town Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Museum is dedicated to preserving the art of the American Southwest and the history of Albuquerque and the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico. The museum also contributes significantly to the cultural and educational programs in the city of Albuquerque. The museum features art of the Southwest and its global influences, as well as 400 years of Albuquerque history with permanent installations and special exhibitions of national and international origin.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is owned and operated by the 19 Indian Pueblos of New Mexico and dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Pueblo Indian Culture, History and Art. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a non-profit that opened in August, 1976, to showcase the history and accomplishments of the Pueblo people, from Pre-Columbian to current time. The center includes a 1,000 square meters (10,000 square feet) museum of the authentic history and artifacts of traditional Pueblo cultures and their contemporary art.
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a natural history and science museum in Albuquerque. The Museum was founded in 1986. The Museum’s permanent exhibit halls illustrate a journey through time, covering the birth of the Universe (≈13.6 billion years ago) to the Ice Age (≈10,000 years ago). The eight journey through time halls are as follows: 1) Origins 2) Dawn of the Dinosaurs 3) Jurassic Age of Super Giants 4) New Mexico’s Seacoast 5) Age of Volcanoes 6) Rise of the Recent – Evolving Grasslands 7) Cave Experience 8) New Mexico’s Ice Age.
The Albuquerque Biological Park or Albuquerque BioPark is an environmental museum located in Albuquerque. It contains four separate facilities: Albuquerque Aquarium, ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, Rio Grande Zoo and Tingley Beach. With its expansion and upgrades of the past decade, the zoo has become a premiere destination hosting hundreds of species (many endangered) and one awesome playground. The aquarium is perfect for kids interested in sharks, while the botanical garden is a lush environment to discover butterflies and other insects. Tingley Beach has three designated fishing ponds open to the public and pedal boats for rent. This is an excellent place for an all-day family outing.
The Cathedral Church of St. John is an Episcopal cathedral located in Albuquerque. It is the seat of the Diocese of the Rio Grande. In 2018 the cathedral church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was established in 1882. Originally a small parish church, St. John’s became a diocesan Cathedral during the 1920s. The current building was designed by John Gaw Meem and then built in 1950.
The KiMo Theatre is a theatre and historic landmark located on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Fifth Street. It was built in 1927 in the extravagant Art Deco-Pueblo Revival Style architecture, which is a blend of adobe building styles (rounded corners and edges), decorative motifs from indigenous cultures, and the soaring lines and linear repetition found in American Art Deco architecture.
The Sandia Peak Tramway is an aerial tramway located adjacent to Albuquerque. It stretches from the northeast edge of the city to the crestline of the Sandia Mountains and has the world’s third longest single span. It is the longest aerial tram in the United States.
The city plays host to the International Balloon Fiesta, the world’s largest gathering of hot-air balloons, taking place at a venue referred to as Balloon Fiesta Park, with its 19-hectare (47-acre) launch field. It is a nine-day event occurring in the first full week of October, and has over 500 hot air balloons each year.
Another large venue is Expo New Mexico where other annual events are held, such as North America’s largest pow wow at the Gathering of Nations, as well as the New Mexico State Fair.
Albuquerque is the center of the New Mexico Technology Corridor, a concentration of high-tech institutions, including the metropolitan area being the location of Intel’s Fab 11X In Rio Rancho and a Facebook Data Center in Belen, Albuquerque was also the founding location of MITS and Microsoft.
Many Bugs Bunny cartoon feature Bugs traveling around the world by burrowing underground. Ending up in the wrong place, Bugs consults a map, complaining, “I knew I should have taken that left toin at Albukoykee.” Failure to do so can somehow result in Bugs ending up thousands of miles off-course. (Bugs first uses that line in 1945’s Herr Meets Hare.)