luxury and ostentation, in an imperial village blessed
by majestic hills of which infinite tons of mineral are extracted.
Waste, parties and banquets in the fine old houses, people beating
their breasts in the silent churches; only death for the Indians
condemned to the labyrinths of dark tunnels. Stories, myths and
legends... Silver deliriums in the city of Potosi.
colonial time, the silver extraction in the Cerro
Rico of Potosi, transformed this city into the biggest
in America with more than 160,000 inhabitants; then, everything
was opulence and exquisite churches and elegant mansions were
built and conspicuous architects and celebrated artists arrived.
that with the silver extracted from the bowel of the Cerro Rico
or Sumaj Orcko (majestic mountain), it could have been possible
to build a gigantic bridge to connect Potosi
with Madrid; but, they also say that this fabulous work could
have been made with the bodies of the enslaved indians that died
in the tunnels.
In 1553, the
city of Potosi -capital of the department
of the same name in the Southwest of Bolivia- received the title
of imperial city on behalf of Carlos V, King of Spain. At that
moment of the history it was difficult to foresee the decline
of the splendid village that at the present time, preserve only
a few gleams of its splendid past.
solitary streets in Potosi (4,070 m.a.s.l.).
houses, narrow sidewalks. At the end, the image of the Cerro Rico
dominates the highland; even now dozens of miners get lost in
its tunnels and mine entrances, but nothing is as bad as it used
to be. There are no longer deliriums of silver in this old Imperial
Village, that in 1987, was declared Cultural Patrimony of the
Humanity by UNESCO.