The area that would become the City of Albuquerque was first settled by Catholic missionaries in the early 1600s when New Mexico was a Spanish Kingdom. The native Pueblo Indians decreased in population mainly due to diseases which had been introduced to them by the growing number of settlers. A villa built in the mid 1600s by Francisco de Trujillo along the eastern bank of the Rio Grande. It was chosen in 1706 by New Mexico's governor to be the site of the Villa de Albuquerque. 
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San Felipe Neri De Albuquerque, now Albuquerque is no doubt one of the oldest settlements in the territory, and was christened in honor of Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva, Duke of Albuquerque, who figured over two centuries ago in the history of the territory as Viceroy of Mexico, in 1659 and 1660, and again from 1701 to 1711.