After a long break from writing, we finally continue the ‘blog with more travels in Bolivia.
Just as after a long break from travel in Sucre, off we went bound for Potosi.
Potosi is a fascinating place. By some measures it’s the highest city in the world, at 4100m above sea level. And it’s really kind of in the middle of nowhere. No lakes, rivers or good agricultural lands anywhere nearby. The reason for building a city in such a forbidding place was Cerro Rico “the Rich Mountain,” which sits behind the city and contains one of the richest silver veins ever found. In the 16th and 17th century the Spanish conquistadors exploited the mountain to its fullest using thousands upon thousands of indigenous and African slaves. Thousands upon thousands of these slaves died in the process while the colonials took the riches of the mountain and in addition to enriching their home country, turned Potosi into one of the largest and richest cities in the world at the time.
The legacy of the colonial mines lives on in the rich ornamentation of the city, which sits scattered amongst the more modern but much less glamorous recent constructions. Meanwhile the mining of Cerro Rico continues.
A altiplano pueblito (village-ette) on the way to Potosi