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(photo: the city of Potosi & the historic silver mine of Cerro Rico in Potosi, Bolivia)
About three hundred years ago, Potosi, Bolivia was one of the richest cities in the world. Silver extraction from the mines in Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain) made Potosi a booming city and one of the most populous cities in the world.
It was once considered "the place to live," where ornate cathedrals and mansions were built and the roads were said to be made of silver and where some of the wealthiest and most respected people in the world lived. Yes, it was a colonial masterpiece.
Today things have changed for the city of Potosi, it is now one of the poorest cities in South America, where you'll find poor local miners scraping away inside the hazardous conditions of the mines of Cerro Rico, for whatever silver is left.Potosi has a sad past, fueled by the greed of the Spaniards, indigenous people were forced to labor day and night inside the extreme conditions of the mines. Millions of people have died working in these mines. Its been said that enough silver was extracted from Cerro Rico to build a bridge from Potosi to Spain and enough people have died to build a bridge of bones back.
In 1987, UNESCO declared the city of Potosi a "World Heritage Site" in recognition for its rich history and its wealth of colonial architecture. The city is an absolute must for enthusiast of colonial religious architecture and many historic churches.
The altitude really hits you when you first arrive in Potosi. The city is said to be the highest city in the world, sitting at an exhausting elevation of 13,454 feet (4090 meters) above sea level. You'll find yourself struggling for breath if haven't acclimatized to the altitude.Though Potosi has a sad history it is fascinating to explore the remains of city that once was considered the "the place to live."
Potosi has some neat attractions and I recommend going on a city tour of Potosi, so that you learn about it's history, culture and other important details of the city. Many travel agencies in Potosi offer a city tour ... read more
Potosi travel tips on how to get to and from Potosi, Bolivia by bus, or air. Arrival & Departure information and getting around the city. Buses from other Bolivian cities arrive at the Terminal de Buses, the main bus terminal on Avenida Universitario ... read more
Overview of Potosi restaurants. Get reviews and recommendations on bars, cafes & restaurants in Potosi or you can also read other recommendations from other travelers or add your own review if you have been to Potosi ... read more
Ask a question in the Potosi Bolivia Forum and get answers. You can also browse the forum or post travel stories, upload your photos, share your experiences about traveling in Potosi. In addition you can recommend hotels & restaurants that you think other travelers should try or to avoid. Whatever it is, share it! ... read more