City of Potosí (1987)

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In the 16th century, this area was regarded as the world's largest industrial complex. The extraction of silver ore relied on a series of hydraulic mills. 

The site consists of the industrial monuments of the Cerro Rico, where water is provided by an intricate system of aqueducts and artificial lakes; the colonial town with the Casa de la Moneda; the Church of San Lorenzo; several patrician houses; and the barrios mitayos, the areas where the workers lived. 

  • Bolivia 2001. Potosi designated World Cultural Heritage. 

Bolivia 2001. Potosi designated World Cultural Heritage.

Bolivia 1989. Potosi. Pair of stamps depicting the Mint [Casa de Moneda] in Potosi, and the Cobija Arch.

Potosí was founded in 1546, a year after silver was discovered in the region. By 1611 Potosí was the leading silver center in the world and had a population of 150,000. 

By 1825, however, the silver was virtually exhausted, and the population fell to 8000. During the early 20th century, tin mining became important, and the city began to grow again. 

  • Bolivia 1989. Potosi. Pair of stamps depicting the Mint [Casa de Moneda] in Potosi, and the Cobija Arch. 
Potosí is located in southern Bolivia, in the Andes Mountains, near Sucre. Set at about 4,180 m (about 13,700 ft) above sea level, Potosí is one of the highest inhabited communities in the world. 

Within the city are Tomás Frías University (1892), a cathedral, a mint built in 1572, and many colonial churches. 

  • Bolivia 1930. Mount Potosi. Mount Potosi has appeared on numerous Bolivian stamps, the first one appearing in a series of stamps issued 1916-1917. 

Below are shown some of the wildlife, traditionally known from the High Andes. The stamps are part of a very nice set that includes also the Heron, the Chinchilla, the Toucan, and the Jaguar + agriculture and the coat of arms. 

Bolivia 1930. Mount Potosi.

Bolivia 1939. Vicuna. Bolivia 1939. Condor. Bolivia 1939. Lamas.

There are eighteen stamps in the complete set, and all of them (except for the 20c value) exist imperf. Imperforated counterfeits of some of the values are known. Note also that, although of the same set, the stamps are slightly different in size. 

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Bolivia (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Bolivia-section, for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 03 aug 2006  
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