About National Mint of Bolivia
The National Mint of Bolivia, or Casa Nacional de la Moneda, is located in the city of Potosí and linked to the huge silver mine at Cerro Rico that was a major supply of silver for the Spanish Empire.
History of the National Mint of Bolivia
The National Mint of Bolivia was built to regulate the minting of Spanish colonial coins from the silver mine at Potosí. It was constructed between 1753 and 1773 and today is one of the most impressive museums in Bolivia and South America.
A previous mint in Potosí was built on the site of the Casa de Justicia in 1572. The National Mint replaced it. The Mint is ornamented with an impressive colonial facade and walls which are over a metre thick.
The last coins were minted here in 1953. In 1987, the building was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status as part of the listing for the city of Potosí.
The building has functioned as a military headquarters as well as a prison and fortress. The machinery of minting in the Spanish colony and the Republic of Bolivia is preserved in the museum which inhabits the building today.
National Mint of Bolivia today
Visitors to the National Mint are able to view a range of religious paintings from an artistic school originating in Potosí, as well as the machinery that turned silver into coins. A guided tour of the National Mint is available in multiple languages.
Getting to the National Mint of Bolivia
The National Mint of Bolivia is in the centre of Potosí. You can visit at certain times so aim to plan in advance. Arriving at a time such as first opening will mean you will be more likely to join a group for the guided tour.