POTOSI , acity of
See also:Bolivia, capital of the department of Potosi, 47 M . (
See also:direct) S.W. of
See also:Sucre, or 88 m. by the
See also:post-road . Pop . (1906, estimate), 23,450 . Potosi stands on a barren terrace on the
See also:northern slope of the Cerro Gordo de Potosi, 12,992 ft. above
See also:sea-level, and is one of the highest towns in the
See also:world . The famous cerro from which its name is taken rises above the
See also:town to a height of 15,381 ft., a barren,
See also:cone honeycombed with
See also:mining shafts . The town is regularly laid out with streets
See also:crossing each other at right angles . The
See also:smoke-begrimed buildings, many of which are unoccupied and in ruins, are commonly of
See also:adobe . A large plaza forms the conventional centre, around which are grouped various religious edifices, the
See also:house, town
See also:college, the old " royal mint " dating from 1585, and the
See also:treasury . The city has a massive, plain
See also:cathedral, which in
See also:dates from early colonial times, and in part from the closing years of
See also:rule . The
See also:water supply is derived from a costly
See also:system, of reservoirs and aqueducts constructed by the Spanish government during the years of the city's greatest prosperity . There are 27 of these artificial lakes, and the aqueducts originally numbered 32, some of which are no longer serviceable .
See also:mountain roads and
See also:pack animals are the only means of transportation to and from Potosi, but a railway from
See also:Oruro to Tupiza via Potosi, forming part of the projected
See also:American route, was contracted for in 1908 . In 1611 the population of Potosi was reported to be 16o,000, which probably included the whole mining
See also:district . A part of the diminution since then is explained by the fact that the
See also:great majority of the mines on the cerro have been abandoned . The foundation of the city dates from 1547, two years after the first
See also:discovery of
See also:silver on the cerro by an
See also:Indian herder named Gualci .
See also:Charles V. conferred upon it the title of "
See also:villa imperial." From 1545 to 1800 the
See also:crown tax of one-fifth upon the
See also:mineral product amounted to £32,600,000, showing an acknowledged output of £163,000,000 . The actual output, however, must have been much greater, as Spain was flooded with
See also:contraband silver, and there was a large
See also:trade in it at La
See also:Plata ports, whence it was taken to Brazil and
See also:Portugal . The
See also:total output to 1864 has been estimated at more than £400,000,000, but the
See also:annual output at the beginning of the loth century barely exceeded 400,000 ozs . The struggle for independence began in Potosi on the 9th of
See also:November 1810, but the Spanish forces succeeded in retaining possession down to 1822 .
POTOROO, or RAT KANGAROO
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