Potosi Journals

The Highest City in the World

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A March 1999 trip to Potosi by mitchww@me.com

Quote: At 4000 meters(13123 feet), Potosi, Bolivia is the highest city in the world. The Spanish created the city to exploit the great riches found in nearby Cerro Rico- literally Rich Mountain. Visiting the mines of Cerro Rico is a journey back to colonial times.

The Highest City in the World

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Overview

Quote:
The highlight of a trip to Potosi has to be visitng the cooperative mines of Cerro Rico. As dynamite blasts shake the mountain, the visitor experiences conditions little changed from hundreds of years ago when the Spanish ran the mines using slave labor from amoung the Andean peasants throughout the colony. A tour of the museum in the Casa Real De Moneda will complete the picture of exploitation visited upon the Andean peasants of the colonial era. The Casa Real contained the colonial mint. There are over 80 colonial churches in Potosi containing wonderful art and artifacts from throughout the history of the city.Quick Tips: Be mindful of the altitude. Potosi is at 40...Read More

Hotel Jerusalen

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Hotel

Quote:
The Jerusalen cost less than $10/night for a room with a shower and toilet. It was a couple of steps above the normal backpacker fare. The hot water was provided as it often is by a frightening contraption mounted on the shower rear. The hotel's courtyard was full of loud people one night. So try to get a room away from the courtyard. The rooms were clean and comfortable but small.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 10, 2000

Hotel Jerusalen
Calle Oruro 143
Potosi, Bolivia
22600

Casa Real de Moneda

Attraction

Quote:
The Casa Real was the Royal Mint used by the Spanish colonizers to turn the silver from Cerro Rico into coins to be shipped back to Spain. it has been wonderfully restored. The musem alone could justify a visit to Potosi.

The museum boasts a wide variety of coins and coin stamps. Also, visitors can see the restored presses including hand powered minting machines. A room containing religous paintings, many done by indigenous Andeans was our introduction to the history of the region.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 10, 2000

Casa Real de Moneda
Calle Ayacucho
Potosi, Bolivia

Mines of Cerro Rico

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Attraction

Quote:
It's like nothing you've ever imagined. The small tour group's first stop is at the miners' markets where visitors and miners purchase supplies. The supplies turn out to be alcohol, cigarettes, coca leaves and dynamite. After another quick stop to don rubber rain coats, boots and miner helmets complete with lamps, your bus takes off for the mines. Entering the mines is a step into the past. Miners still work by hand cutting small shafts in which to place their dynamite. The air is thick with dust which vibrates with each groundshaking dynamite explosion. Thousands of miners work through the mountain with no central control or plan. Collapses are common. Visitors watch miners dru...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 10, 2000

Mines of Cerro Rico
On the outskirts of Potosi
Potosi, Bolivia

Churches of Potosi

Story/Tip

Quote:
Colonial churches filled with art and artifacts including the Convent of San Fransisco and the Convent of Santa Teresa which contains skeletons of dead monks. The Compania de Jesus on Calle Ayacucho displays fabulous examples of the mix of Spanish and local architecture.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 10, 2000