In 1706, Spanish colonists founded the Villa de Alburquerque on the wooded banks of the Rio Grande. Three hundred years later, that once quiet farming community has grown to become Albuquerque, the largest city in the state of New Mexico.
Over the centuries, this fascinating city’s identity has metamorphosed many times. In 1862, it briefly became the western capital of the Confederate States of America, before Confederate hopes for the territory were destroyed at the Battle of Glorieta Pass. In 1880, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad brought industry and wealth from the east, as well as tuberculosis-infected “lungers” who came by the thousands to seek a cure in “the Heart of Health Country.” Then, in 1926, Route 66 transformed the city into a neon-decked oasis for automobile travelers journeying through the newly accessible West. Though many of these identities have faded, their legacy lives on in the beating heart of an ever-changing city.