But the city has much more to offer than just the mine.
COMPARE BELOW A LIST OF THE BEST Potosi Silver Mines Tours AT CHEAP LOCAL PRICES! University of New Mexico Press 2010. :374, The ore deposits reside in veins present in the dacite volcanic dome.  For centuries, it was the location of the Spanish colonial silver mint. The rich mountain, Cerro Rico, produced an estimated 60% of all silver mined in the world during the second half of the 16th century. Semiarid and with average temperatures in its warmest month sitting right on the 10 °C threshold, the city's climate straddles that of the subtropical highland climate (Cwc, according to the Köppen climate classification), with subpolar oceanic characteristics and an alpine climate (E). Largest site of dinosaur footprints ever found includes more than 5,000 tracks. Potosí was founded as a mining town in 1546, while Bolivia was still part of the Viceroyalty of Peru.
Around 30,000 African slaves were also brought to the city, where they were forced to work and die as human mules. Follow us on social media to add even more wonder to your day. We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders. "Raíces de un pueblo: cultura afroboliviana."
Potosi was a mythical land of riches, it is mentioned in Miguel de Cervantes' famous novel, Don Quixote (second part, chap. Bolivia has the most incredible, yet sometimes peculiar places to visit. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic.
In 1545, a new Spanish mining town was founded in the Andes mountains of modern-day Bolivia, and for next 250 years, the mines of Potosí would fund the Spanish crown and its imperial ambitions. ", From around 1600, the death rate skyrocketed among the local Native Andean communities. Tandeter, Enrique. According to legend, in about 1462, Huayna Capac, the eleventh Sapa Inca of what by then was known as the Inca Empire "set out for Ccolque Porco and Andaccaua, the location of his mines from which were taken innumerable arrobas of silver" (an arroba is a Spanish unit of weight equivalent to approximately 25 pounds (11 kg)). The patio process used mercury amalgamation to extract silver from lower-grade ores, and those containing silver sulfide (argentite), as was typical of the unoxidized ores found deeper in the mountain. This subterranean passage reveals the city's mining history as well as its legendary terrors. :374–376, Basement rocks consist of Ordovician clastic sediments consisting of phyllite with some sandstone interbedding. The Cerro Rico is the reason for Potosí's historical importance since it was the major supply of silver for the Spanish Empire until Guanajuato in Mexico surpassed it in the 18th century. Potosí lies at the foot of the Cerro de Potosí —sometimes referred to as the Cerro Rico ("rich mountain")— a mountain popularly conceived of as being "made of" silver ore that dominates the city.
 According to Noble David Cook, "A key factor in understanding the impact of the Potosi mita on the Indians is that mita labor was only one form of work at the mines. Finally, both factions reached a settlement sealed with a wedding between the son and daughter of the leaders in either side, the Basque Francisco Oyanume and the Vicuña general Castillo. At such a high altitude, pneumonia was always a concern, and mercury poisoning took the lives of many involved in the refining process. It was once used as a classroom to teach mining skills to local high school students. Potosí is home to football teams Real and Nacional, which play their matches at the 32,000-capacity multi-purpose stadium Estadio Víctor Agustín Ugarte, one of the highest stadiums in the world. Especially successful were the small clay "flower pot" furnaces called guayras, which had been used by the Incas. Eight million died in the Potosi Mines the vast, vast majority being Native American slaves brought from all over the Americas. Eventually, tension among both factions came to a head, resulting in the eruption of overt armed conflict starting 1622 up to 1625. La mineria de plata en el Potosi colonial, 1692-1826". But such vast wealth also came at a price.
They did so, and having brought their tools of flint and reinforced wood, they climbed the hill; and after having probed for its veins, they were about to open those veins when they heard a frightening thunderous noise which shook the whole hill, and after this, they heard a voice which said: "Do not take the silver from this hill, because it is destined for other masters." The true champion of this boom in the silver industry was indeed the Spanish crown. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. La Paz: Producciones CIMA, 1999. Private Trip: Tracing the Steps of Tubman & Douglass, Photographing Palm Springs: The Quirky & Surreal, Tales From the Museum: The Academy of Natural Sciences, Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino (Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art), The Country That Still Considers Saddam Hussein a Hero, A Historical Dig Sheds Light on the Food of the Underground Railroad, Found: An Old Norse 'Godhouse' Fit for Thor and Odin, The Spectacular Science of the Great Lakes' Glowing Rocks, Behind the Walls of a Sports Bar, Remnants of Florida's Early Years, Inside a Domed Pyramid With Astounding Acoustics and a History of Miracles, See the Mysterious Horned Helmet of Henry VIII, Searching for Home and Connection Through Typewritten Poetry, The Female Shark Spotter Protecting Réunion Island’s Surfers, Peek Inside NYC’s Iconic Rubber Stamp Shop, Torotoro National Park Dinosaur Footprints, Paseo Túnel Minería Durango (Durango Mining Tunnel Walk), http://www.lonelyplanet.com/bolivia/the-southwest/potosi/history, http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/devilsminer/mountain.html, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/02/bolivia-potosi-mountain-silver-mining, http://www.npr.org/2012/09/25/161752820/bolivias-cerro-rico-the-mountain-that-eats-men. In this episode, we will examine the history of New World silver and its effect on the … These low temperatures are a result of the extreme precipitation deficit during the winter months with the resulting aridity leading to an increased diurnal temperature variation. Thousands of the indigenous people were forced to work at the mines, where many perished through accidents, brutal treatment, or poisoning by the mercury used in the extraction process. Major leadership mistakes came when the First Auxiliary Army arrived from Buenos Aires (under the command of Juan José Castelli), which led to an increased sense that Potosi required its own independent government. Potosí, known as Villa Imperial de Potosí in the colonial period, is the capital city and a municipality of the Department of Potosí in Bolivia. , Cerro de Potosí's peak is 4,824 metres (15,827 ft) above sea level. Some of the silver also made its way east to Buenos Aires, via the Rio de la Plata.
By the early 17th century, Basques were well established in the city and made up for a substantial number of the inhabitants in Potosí. During the Bolivian War of Independence (1809–1825), Potosí frequently passed between the control of Royalist and Patriot forces. Potosí was a multiracial society, with native Andeans, Spanish settlers, and black slaves. There is no authoritative etymology for the word "Potosí". Cunningham, C.G., Zartman, R.E., McKee, E.H., Rye, R.O., Naeser, C.W., Sanjines V., O., Ericksen, G.E., Tavera V., F., 1996, The age and thermal history of Cerro rico de Potosi, Bolivia, Mineralium Deposita, 31, 374-385, Ronald D. Crozier, “Silver processing in Spanish America; the patio process and beyond,”, Spiritual and Political Centre of the Tiwanaku Culture, Global silver trade from the 16th to 18th centuries, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "BBC - A History of the World - About: Transcripts - Episode 80 - Pieces of eight", https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/11/21/potosi-silver-rush/, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Potosí&oldid=979357089, 1545 establishments in the Spanish Empire, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Spanish-language text, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Articles lacking in-text citations from September 2010, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2009, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from September 2013, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2010, Articles needing more detailed references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Hydrothermal circulation and fracturing soon followed, altering the dacite and depositing ore minerals and gangue in the veins.
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