Interesting facts about El Paso

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El Paso is a city in Texas.

It is located in the far western part of the state at the intersection of three states (Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua) and two countries (the US and Mexico).

The city nestled between the Franklin Mountains and the Rio Grande.

As of September 2019, the population of El Paso is about 690,000 people. It is the 22nd-largest city in the United States and 6th-largest city in Texas.

The city covers a total area of 664 square kilometers (256 square miles).

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The city has an average elevation of 1,140 meters (3,740 feet) above sea level.

The strategic site was recognized in 1598 by Juan de Oñate, colonizer of New Mexico, who called it El Paso del Norte (Spanish: “The Pass of the North”).

Franciscans established the Mission Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe there in 1659; the original church stands in the central square of Juárez.

Spanish survivors of the Pueblo Revolt (1680–92) took refuge there and built other missions nearby, including one at Ysleta, site of the oldest town in Texas (now in El Paso).

el paso history

In 1776 the settlement comprised a string of hamlets and farms inhabited by 5,000 people. Not until after 1827 did a village exist on the river’s north bank at the present site of El Paso.

The town, laid out in 1859, was on the Butterfield Stage Route to California. It grew slowly until 1881, when four railways arrived.

Meanders of the Rio Grande to the south resulted in border disputes in the 1860s; Mexican claims to El Chamizal, a wedge of land on the Texas side, were first filed in 1895. The dispute, which involved the relocation of the river’s channel, was finally resolved in 1963 and is commemorated in the 22-hectare (55-acre) Chamizal National Memorial (1968).

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El Paso’s unique desert landscapes are home to diverse flora and fauna, and the city is rich in cultural attractions. Its old adobe buildings are unmistakably Mexican, yet in general appearance El Paso is a modern American metropolis.

The Plaza Theatre is a historic building in El Paso, built in 1930. The theater stands as one of the city’s most well-known landmarks, and remains operational today. The theatre is a National Historic Building of Significance featuring the 2,050-seat Kendall Kidd Performance Hall, and the smaller 200-seat Philanthropy Theatre.

plaza theater

Founded in 1959, The El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) is located in downtown El Paso. First accredited in 1972, it is the only accredited art museum within a 250-mile radius and serves approximately 100,000 visitors per year. A new building was completed in 1998.

the el paso museum of art

St. Patrick Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of El Paso. The church was designed by Barnett, Haynes & Barnett, an architectural firm from St Louis, Missouri. It was built in the form of a Byzantine basilica, in the Italian Renaissance style.

St Patrick Cathedral

Encompassing the most important surviving Spanish mission stations in Texas, the Mission Trail starts in El Paso and is one of the best ways for tourists to explore the state’s rich multicultural heritage. A highlight is the Ysleta Mission the oldest continuously operated parish in the State of Texas.

mission trail

Franklin Mountains State Park is a Texas state park in El Paso. Park headquarters are located at an elevation of 1,654 meters (5,426 feet) with the highest peak reaching 2,192 meters (7,192 feet). It is the largest urban park in the nation lying completely within city limits, covering 9,813 hectares (24,248 acres).

franklin mountains state park

The El Paso Zoo is a zoo located in El Paso, Texas. The 14-hectare (35-acre) facility houses animals representing over 220 species, including such critically endangered species as the Amur leopard and the Aruba rattlesnake.

el paso zoo

The University of Texas at El Paso originated as the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy in 1913. Several of its original buildings were modeled on the Potala Palace of Lhasa, Tibet.

The city hosts the annual Sun Bowl college football post-season game, the second oldest bowl game in the country.

With only about 20 centimeters (8 inches) of precipitation per year, a summer high of 35 °C (95 °F) and mild winter temperatures, El Paso residents enjoy sun about 300 days of the year.

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