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418km (259 miles) N of Mexico City; 346km (215 miles) NE of Guadalajara; 202km (125 miles) N of Querétaro; 189km (117 miles) E of Zacatecas

San Luis Potosí, a mile high in central Mexico's high-plains region, was among the country's most prosperous mining cities. It's now the largest and most industrial silver city, with a million inhabitants, but you'd never know it if you kept to the historic central district. It has rich colonial architecture and is known for its many plazas. Capital of the state of the same name, San Luis Potosí was named for Louis IX, sainted king of France. Potosí is a reference to the rich Bolivian Potosí mines.