Potosi Bolivia better known as just “Potosi” is a city in Bolivia. And is also one of the highest cities in the world, (first places goes to the Bolivian capital city, La Paz). This city for centuries was also known as the location of the “Spanish Colonial Mint”. It’s also one of the nine government departments in the country, Tupiza is a city located with in this department.
This mining city was founded on April 1, 1545, and its current population is over 240,966 people.
With an elevation of 13,420 feet (4,090 m) its located at the foot of Cerro Rico (Rich Hill) which is also the world’s largest silver deposit, it’s was the Cerro wealth that made this city historically important. The Cerro Rico is often referred to as being “made of silver”, it was this vast wealth that funded Spain during the New World Spanish Empire, of course this same wealth help make Potosi the second largest city in the (yes!) world.
Since the sixteenth century this mine has produced about 60,000 tons by 1996, but that’s not all, it’s estimated that there is still a lot more silver were that came from! However in 1891 began the mining of tin and ore as a solution to the low prices of silver, the mines peak production was in the sixteenth century and in the seventeenth century, around this same time the ore was about 40% silver.
The extraordinary wealth of Potosi has fascinated people beyond the borders of Bolivia, there is a saying that is thought to have originated in Spain it’s; “Vale un Potosi” or “To Be worth a Potosi” meaning “to be very expensive” or “of great value”. This city was frequently passing between Patriot forces and the control of Royalist during the Bolivian War of Independence that took place in 1809 – 1825. When the auxiliary army came from Buenos Aires (Argentina), commanded by Juan Jose Castelli major leadership mistakes were made, which in return led the city of Potosi to seek its own independent government. But the second auxiliary army was well received and Manuel Belgrano (the commander) did as much as he could to fix the past mistakes made by Castelli. Unfortunately when this army was forced to retreat Manuel Belgrano decided to blow up the “Casa de la Moneda” or The Coin House. Since people refused to leave the explosion would have injured or even killed many, although the fuse was lit, Belgrano’s plan was spoiled by the locals who managed to put out the fuse and avert disaster.
This city has a rare climate in relation to its size, because of its extreme elevation of over 13,000 feet, semiarid, the average temperature is 10°C in its warmest month. The summer on the other hand are cooler days that barely rise over 20°C, the winter days are cold and the nights are even colder – 4°C!