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. It was declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1987, being the first official recognition that this international organization made in Bolivia, due to its contribution to universal history and its architectural and artistic appeal, being considered as the cradle of the Andean Baroque in Bolivia.
The City of Potosí is authentic in terms of the ensemble’s forms and designs, materials and substances, and location and setting. Still dominated by the majestic Cerro de Potosí, the “Imperial City” of Potosí’s streets, squares, civic and religious buildings, parishes and churches remain as faithful witnesses of its great splendor and tell the important history of mining in the Americas.
The city has a great architectural heritage, it is represented by numerous colonial buildings.
Sightseeing in Potosi is a joy that mainly revolves around its beautiful, UNESCO-approved colonial churches and convents. Highlights include San Lorenzo Church, the San Francisco of Potosi Convent, the Santa Teresa Convent Museum, and the Catedral de la Ciudad de Potosi. The Museo de la Casa de la Moneda is another must-see attraction.
Historically and economically speaking, Potosi is built on silver and the sweat of miners. Many travellers feel their visit is incomplete without a tour of the cooperative mines, where locals continue working.
Visitors can usually get around Potosi on foot, given that the main tourist attractions are clustered together in the compact historic centre. However, the high altitude can make walking a bit strenuous.