POTOSI DEPARTMENT. Contents: General data, Economy, City of Potosi, Cities and villages.
The department of Potosí is in southwestern Bolivia. The capital is the city of Potosí. It is mostly a barren, mountainous region with one large plateau to the west, where the largest salt flat in the world, Salar de Uyuni, is located. Potosí was the richest province in the Spanish empire, providing a great percentage of the silver that was shipped to Europe. Founded in 1546 as a mining town, it soon produced fabulous wealth, becoming one of the largest cities in the Americas and the world, with a population exceeding 200,000 people. Miners at work In Spanish there is still a saying, valer un potosí, "to be worth a potosí" (that is, "a fortune"). For Europeans, Peru - Bolivia was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru and was known as Alto Peru before becoming independent - was a mythical land of riches. Potosí appears as an idiom for "extraordinary richness" in Miguel de Cervantes famous novel, Don Quixote (second part, cap. LXXI).
STATISTICAL DATA OF POTOSI DEPARTMENT: