In 1902, the famous Alvarado Hotel was built adjacent to the new passenger depot, and it remained a symbol of the city until it was razed in 1970 to make room for a parking lot.In 2002, the Alvarado Transportation Center was built on the site in a manner resembling the old landmark.The Albuquerque MSA population includes the city of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Placitas, Corrales, Los Lunas, Belen, Bosque Farms, and forms part of the larger Albuquerque–Santa Fe–Las Vegas combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,171,991 as of the July 1, 2016, Census Bureau estimates.Albuquerque is home to the University of New Mexico (UNM), Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), Presbyterian Medical Services (PMS), Presbyterian Health Services, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque Biological Park, and Petroglyph National Monument.New Albuquerque was incorporated as a town in 1885, with Henry N.
Under the Latin theory, the name derives from albus quercus meaning "white oak".
The Sandia Mountains run along the eastern side of Albuquerque, and the Rio Grande flows through the city, north to south. The growing village was named by provincial governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdés.
Albuquerque is also the home of the International Balloon Fiesta, the world's largest such gathering of hot-air balloons from around the globe. The Duke's title referred to the Spanish town of Alburquerque, in the province of Badajoz, near the border with Portugal.
The Navajo, Apache and Comanche peoples were also likely to have set camps in the Albuquerque area, as there is evidence of trade and cultural exchange between the different Native American groups going back centuries before European conquest.
Spain established a presidio (military garrison) in Albuquerque in 1706.