City (pop., 2000: 62,203), capital of New Mexico, U.S. It lies at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Founded by the Spanish in 1610, it was the administrative, military, and missionary headquarters of a vast, sparsely populated Spanish colonial province during the 18th century. In the Mexican War in 1846, the city was occupied by U.S. forces under Gen. Stephen Kearny. After New Mexico was ceded to the U.S., Santa Fe became the capital of the territory in 1851. In 1912 it became the state capital. It was the western terminus of the Santa Fe Trail. It is a major tourist centre noted for Indian and Mexican handicrafts, and its large Spanish-American population has made it the cultural capital of the southwest. A popular summer resort, it also attracts winter skiers.