Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Potosí, Bolivia

Potosi, Bolivia
Potosi, Bolivia
Author: Martin St-Amant (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

The City of Potosí is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bolivia. Not only was it once the world's largest industrial sites, it was one of the biggest silver mine in the New World, and the world's highest city. It was inscribed during the 11th session of the World Heritage Committee which met at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France between 7 and 11 of December, 1987.

The Imperial City of Potosi has exerted a strong influence on the development of architecture and monumental arts in the central region of the Andes. The architectural style in Potosi blends the Baroque style with elements of indigenous Native American influences.

Potosi is an excellent example of a major silver mine. The mining area comprises 22 reservoirs, or lagunas. The flow of water produces hydraulic power to activate the mills that grind the silver ore. Earthen kilns, called huayras or guayras are where the silver ore is amalgamated with mercury. The whole silver production chain has been well conserved, including the dams, aqueducts, mills and kilns.

Photos of City of Potosí

Potosi, Bolivia
Potosi, Bolivia
Author: Tyke (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Potosi, Bolivia
Potosi, Bolivia
Author: Gerd Breitenbach (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

What to See in City of Potosí

The City of Potosí has been well conserved. The heritage buildings, dams, mines are superb monuments that have been preserved. Within the colonial part of the city are 22 monastic churches, including the San Bernado, San Lorenzo, San Agustin, San Martin, Santa Teresa, the Compania and the Cathedral. Also still standing are the Royal Mint and patrician houses of the rich in Potosi.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: S 19 35 01 W 065 45 11
Inscription Year: 1987
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, IV, VI

Location Map

View Potosi in a larger map

Visiting City of Potosí

Your base for visiting this World Heritage Site is La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. From there, you can engage a travel agent for your visit to Potosi. Here's a list of budget hotels in La Paz here. In preparation for arriving, you can also book ahead a room in one of the budget hotels in Potosi.

Getting there

There are buses to Potosi. The bus terminal of Potosi is in the valley, about 30 minutes' walk from the centre of Potosi.

Getting around

Take the taxi, a relatively inexpensive mode of transportation.

Tourist Attractions

  • Casa Nacional de Moneda: Formerly the Royal Mint, it now houses one of the most outstanding museums in South America. Entrance fee is Bs. 20 for foreigners.
  • Compañia de Jesus
  • Copper mines

Book Hotel Rooms in Bolivia and Worldwide

Click here also for a full list of hotels in Bolivia or hotels worldwide. If you prefer budget accommodation in hostels, guesthouses or inns, check out hostels worldwide for budget accommodation providers with online booking.

Return to Bolivia's World Heritage Sites
Return to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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