Potala Palace

Plotala Palace
Potala Palace was first built by Songtsen Gampo in 631, and this was merged into the larger building that stands today, undoubtedly is the symbol of Lhasa and Tibet. The Potala Palace is included in the first important national cultural relics protection list. It is the world's largest and most intact ancient castle-style palace, located on the highest altitude. The landmark of Lhasa and Tibet is truly a monument of the ancient architecture in Tibet. In December 1994, the UNESCO put the Potala Palace onto the World Cultural Heritage List.

Potala Palace
Potala Palace was constructed on the hill site. Surrounded by a wall three meters high, the thirteen-story palace is 110 meters tall and has over ten thousand pillars; its 90,000 square meters of floor space was built on an area of 102, 880 square meters. In 641, Songtsan Gambo, ruler of the Tubo Kingdom, had the Potala Palace built for Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty, whom he was soon to marry. This structure was later burned to the ground during a war and was rebuilt in the 17th century by the Fifth Dalai Lama. Repeated repairs and expansions until 1645 finally brought the palace to its present scale. Over the past three centuries, the palace gradually became a place where the Dalai Lama lived and worked and a place for keeping the remains of successive Dalai Lama.

Potala Palace
The stone-and-wood-structured Potala Palace consists of the White Palace, built in 1645, and Red Palace, built in 1693. The White Palace comprising halls, temples and courtyards, serves as the living quarters of the Dalai Lama. The Red Palace includes various chambers for worshipping Buddha and chambers housing the eight stupas that contain the remains of fifth through thirteenth Dalai Lama. All the stupas are covered with gold foil. The most magnificent stupa belongs to the fifth Dalai Lama. It is 14.85 meters tall and inlaid with pearl and jade. The palace also collected a large number of sculptures, murals, scripture and other valuable cultural relics.

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