Monterrey (mōntārāˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 1,068,996), capital of Nuevo León state, NE Mexico, the third largest city of Mexico. Located c.150 mi (240 km) S of Laredo, Tex., in a valley surrounded by mountains, Monterrey is the rail and highway hub of NE Mexico. It is also Mexico's second most important industrial center, the site of the nation's largest iron and steel foundries, and a major cement producer. Monterrey's modern industrial complex also includes a wide range of light manufacturing, including glass and beverages. The city has experienced further growth with the construction of maquiladoras, foreign-owned plants which use low-wage labor for goods exported to the United States. Natural gas piped in from Texas and coal and petroleum from the neighboring states of Coahuila and Tamaulipas are also major sources of industrial activity. The moderate, dry climate, cool mountains, and hot springs make Monterrey a popular resort. The city was founded in 1579. During the Mexican War, it was captured by Zachary Taylor after a courageous defense (Sept. 19–24, 1846) by the besieged Mexicans. Monterrey is the home of the Univ. of Nueva Leon and a technological institute. The city's wealthier suburbs have houses built of stucco in a style derived from Spanish colonial and called Monterrey. Beginning in 2010 the city and its suburbs began to be affected by the drug-related violence that had previously plagued many border areas.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.