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Potosi y el Cerro Rico | by Miradortigre
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Potosi y el Cerro Rico

La historia de Potosi y su cerro es a todas luces fascinante, el imponente cerro de 4.800 mts contenia las vetas de plata mas importantes del mundo.

La ciudad se encuentra a las faldas de la legendaria montaña llamada Sumaj Orcko, por los incas.

 

Los españoles que vivían en la ciudad disfrutaban de un lujo increíble. A comienzos del siglo XVII Potosí ya contaba con treinta y seis iglesias espléndidamente ornamentadas, otras tantas casas de juego y catorce escuelas de baile. Había salones de bailes, teatros y tablados para las fiestas que lucían riquísimos tapices, cortinajes, blasones y obras de orfebrería. De los balcones de las casas colgaban damascos coloridos y lamas de oro y plata. En 1547 a los 18 meses de la fundación ya contaba con 2.500 viviendas para 14.000 habitantes, alcanzando los 150.000 habitantes en 1611 y los 160.000 en 1650.La inmensa riqueza del Cerro Rico y la intensa explotación a la que lo sometieron los españoles hicieron que la ciudad creciera de manera asombrosa. En 1625 tenía ya una población de 160 000 habitantes, por encima de Sevilla.

 

 

Potosi

Founded in 1545 as a mining town, it soon produced fabulous wealth, and the population eventually exceeded 200,000 people. The city gave rise to a Spanish expression, still in use: vale un Potosí, ("to be worth a Potosí"). The rich mountain, Cerro Rico, produced an estimated 60% of all silver mined in the world during the second half of the 16th century.

 

Potosí's naturally rich deposits, along with technological advancements in production like the Patio process, allowed silver production costs to remain extremely low. In fact, Spanish American mines were the world's cheapest sources of silver during this time period. Spanish America's ability to supply a great amount of silver and China's strong demand for this commodity resulted in a spectacular mining boom. The true champion of this boom in the silver industry was indeed the Spanish crown.

 

For Europeans, Peru–Bolivia was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru and was known as Alto Perú before becoming independent as part of Bolivia. Potosi was a mythical land of riches, it is mentioned in Miguel de Cervantes' famous novel, Don Quixote (second part, chap. LXXI) as a land of "extraordinary richness". One theory holds that the mint mark of Potosí (the letters "PTSI" superimposed on one another) is the origin of the dollar sign, although the likelier origin of the symbol is the $-shaped scroll-wrapped columns on the reverse of the Spanish dollar.

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Taken on October 9, 2016