Potosi Travel Guide

Potosi © Judith Duk

UNESCO declared this a World Heritage Site because of its rich history and Spanish architecture. Potosi is known as the Imperial City and is situated at the foot of Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain) famed for its mineral wealth. The Spanish created one of the most important and populous cities on the continent, after the discovery of the silver-rich mountain in 1545. Situated at an altitude of more than 13,123ft (4,000m), it is also the highest city in the world although not quite the thriving metropolis that it once was, though there is still a Spanish saying: valer un Potosi (to be worth a Potosi), meaning to be worth a fortune.

The architecture is its main attraction with a distinct Spanish influence evident in the houses and beautiful churches. There are an astounding 80 colonial churches in the city filled with art and artefacts from their history, notably the Convent of San Francisco and the Convent of Santa Teresa.

A visit to the city would be amiss without a trip to the mines of Cerro Rico where miners, working in appalling conditions, chip away at the rock walls in the hope of riches to come.

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