|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (March 2011)|
|• Mayor||Horacio "Pechi" Quiroga (New Neuquino Commitment)|
|• Total||63 km2 (24 sq mi)|
|Elevation||260 m (850 ft)|
|• Density||3,600/km2 (9,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||ART (UTC−3)|
|Dialing code||+54 299|
Neuquén (Spanish pronunciation: [neuˈken]) is the capital city of the Argentine province of Neuquén, located in the east of the province, at the confluence of the Limay and Neuquén rivers. The city has a population of more than 265,000, making it the largest city in Patagonia.
Neuquén is both an important agricultural center, surrounded by fertile lands irrigated by the waters of the Limay and Neuquén rivers in an otherwise arid province, and a petrochemical industrial center that receives oil extracted from different points of the province. It belongs economically and geographically to the Alto Valle region that produces apples, pears, and other fruits.
National Route 22 divides the city into two halves.
The Presidente Perón Airport is eight kilometers (5.0 miles) away from the city and serves regular flights to Buenos Aires, San Carlos de Bariloche, Comodoro Rivadavia, Río Gallegos, Río Grande, Ushuaia, and San Martín de los Andes.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2012)|
In 1885, the lands of what was at that time called Confluencia (i.e., "confluence," referring to the two rivers) were auctioned to a few people. Shortly after the Conquest of the Desert campaign conducted by the military over Patagonia, the Mapuche and Tehuelche tribes that inhabited the province of Neuquén were either killed or pushed out of these lands.
Since there was no defined border with Chile, the Argentine government reached an agreement with the British-owned Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway company that was constructing a railway network, mainly in Buenos Aires Province, to build an extension to the town in exchange for lands, in order to populate it. In 1899, the railroad reached Cipolletti in Río Negro province, and three years later, after the construction of the bridge, arrived at Neuquén.
Neuquén was officially founded on September 12, 1904, and the capital of the territory was transferred from Chos Malal to the young town. The name "Neuquén" derives from the Mapudungun word nehuenken, meaning drafty, which the native people used in reference to this river.
By 1930, the town had only 5000 inhabitants. In the 1960s, it acquired a new importance when oil deposits were found in the province by the state company YPF. The 1970s and 1980s saw massive demographic growth, accompanied by improvements such as the creation of the National University of Comahue in 1971.
Neuquén has an arid climate, with 180 millimetres (7 in) of precipitation per year. There are marked temperature differences in the seasons: In summer (November to March), the temperature averages 31 °C (88 °F) and has been known to reach 42 °C (108 °F), but low humidity and strong winds from the south make the temperature feel cooler than it would be otherwise. Autumns (April to May) and spring (September to October) are mild and typically transition seasons. Winter (June to August) highs usually reach 12 °C (54 °F), but on some days the high doesn’t reach 4 °C (39 °F) and on others with a warm wind it has reached 25 °C (77 °F). Nights are cold, under 0 °C (32 °F), sometimes reaching −10 °C (14 °F).
|Climate data for Neuquén, Argentina|
|Record high °C (°F)||42.3||41.6||36.5||32.5||29.7||28.1||22.8||27.4||32.1||35.4||40.8||40.4||nil
|Average high °C (°F)||31.7||31.0||27.2||21.4||16.7||12.9||12.5||15.7||18.6||23.2||27.7||30.5||—|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||23.5||22.6||18.5||13.5||9.2||6.3||5.6||8.3||11.2||15.7||19.8||22.7||—|
|Average low °C (°F)||15.3||14.4||11.2||6.9||3.0||1.0||-0.1||1.6||4.0||8.1||11.7||14.6||—|
|Record low °C (°F)||5.6||2.9||-0.7||-3.3||-8.3||-10.6||-10.7||-9.0||-7.0||-2.6||-0.9||3.7||nil
|Precipitation mm (inches)||12.7||10.0||33.2||11.3||10.1||25.1||17.8||11.2||23.8||10.7||7.9||8.9||—|
|Avg. precipitation days||3||2||4||5||5||7||6||5||5||5||3||4||—|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||313.1||293.8||257.3||216.0||148.8||120.0||133.3||186.0||192.0||260.4||282.0||279.0||—|
|Source #1: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional, NOAA (extremes)|
|Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory (sun only)|
The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, designed by Mario Roberto Alvarez, opened in 2004. The museum showcases both national and international artists. The building consists of four halls which include both the temporary and the permanent collection, as well as an auditorium and theater.
- "Statistical Data (1981-1990)" (in Spanish). National Meteorological Service of Argentina. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- "Neuquén Aero Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
- Climatological Information for Neuquen, Argentina, Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
- Ilustre Municipalidad de Valdivia, ed. (18 de noviembre de 2003). "Esta noche se firmará acuerdo entre Neuquén y Valdivia". Retrieved 22 de julio de 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neuquén City.|
- (Spanish) Municipality of Neuquén - Official website.
- Municipal information: Municipal Affairs Federal Institute (IFAM), Municipal Affairs Secretariat, Ministry of Interior, Argentina. (Spanish)