Potosí

Orientation & Geography

South America, Bolivia, Provincia Tomas Frias

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, now the National Mint of Bolivia. Potosí lies beneath 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. This silver was taken by llama and mule train to the Spanish Main from where it was then taken to Spain on the Spanish treasure fleets. Cerro de Potosí's peak is 4,824 metres (15,827 ft) above sea level.