Potosi: the imperial city

Potosí is a city and the capital of the department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the highest cities in the world by elevation at a nominal 4,090 metres (13,420 ft) and it was the location of the Spanish colonial mint.

 

Potosí lies at the foot of the Cerro de Potosí—sometimes referred to as the Cerro Rico ("rich mountain")—a mountain popularly conceived of as being "made of" silver ore, which has always dominated the city. The Cerro Rico is the reason for Potosí's historical importance, since it was the major supply of silver for Spain during the period of the New World Spanish Empire. The silver was taken by llama and mule train to the Pacific coast, shipped north to Panama City, carried by mule train across the isthmus of Panama to Nombre de Dios or Portobelo whence it was taken to Spain on the Spanish treasure fleets.

 

Nowadays one can still see its former glory in the narrow alleys and cobbled stone trees; ancient stone buildings and incredible museums.