San Luis Potosí’s historic center has received World Heritage status from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).
Having already received such certification from UNESCO, the city becomes the first in the country to receive this designation from both institutions.
“This distinction is a pride for the Potosinos, but it also represents the commitment to preserve the memory, the heritage, and above all the history linked to the so-called Ruta de la Plata,” said INAH’s director general, Diego Prieto.
The Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, and in particular the historical monuments that make up the Centro Histórico, were acknowledged in the announcement.
The Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, or Camino de la Plata, is a long route that starts from the center of Mexico and reaches Texas and New Mexico; It was used between the 16th and 19th centuries to transport the silver extracted from the mines of Zacatecas, Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí, as well as mercury imported from Europe.
This trip also led to the establishment of social, cultural and religious relations between the Hispanic and Amerindian cultures.
“A grand old dame of a colonial city, San Luis Potosí was once a revolutionary hotbed, an important mining town and seat of government to boot,” writes Lonely Planet. “Today the city has maintained its poise as the prosperous state capital, orderly industrial center and university seat, though it sees relatively few visitors.”
The city is named after Louis IX of France, who is the city’s patron saint.