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Santa Fé: Spanish, "Holy Faith"; full form: La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís, (Royal City of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi) is the capital of the U.S. state of New Mexico. Santa Fe is the largest city and county seat of Santa Fe County. The elevation of Santa Fé is nearly 7,000 feet above sea level compared with approximately 5,352 ft for nearby Albuquerque.

Santa Fé was the capital of  Nuevo México, a province of New Spain explored by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and established in 1598. The city was founded by Don Pedro de Peralta, New Mexico's third governor. Peralta gave the city its full name, "La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís", or "The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi".

A settlement on the site that would become Santa Fé was first established by Juan Martinez de Montoya in 1607. The town was formally founded and made a capital in 1610, making it the oldest capital city and the second oldest surviving city founded by the European colonists in what land was later to become part of the United States.

Except for the years 1680-1692, when, as a result of the Pueblo Revolt, the native Pueblo people drove the Spaniards out of the area known as New Mexico, later to be "reconquered" by Don Diego de Vargas, Santa Fé remained Spain's provincial seat until the outbreak of the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. In 1824 the city's status as the capital of the Mexican territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México was formalized in the 1824 Constitution.







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