Potala Palace
Tibet, Lhasa

Potala Palace is the pinnacle of Tibetan architecture. This building seems just a huge rock. White walls, countless windows and tightly pressed roofs at different levels turn it into a mark that is visible everywhere. The palace stands above the city on the ledge of the Marpori rock (Red Hill). At this place stood the palace of Song-wall Gampu, which in the 7th century A.D. was a Buddhist ruler of Tibet. Under him, a large Jokhang temple was founded in the city, which magnetically attracted carts of pilgrims. Centuries later, in 1645, the Dalai Lama V, who is also the ruler of Tibet, ordered the construction of a palace on the site of the former residence. When he died in 1682, construction was not yet completed. They were silent about the death of the Dalai Lama until 1694, when, finally, the palace was built. From then until the 1950s, the palace remained the seat of the Tibetan government. The whole building is divided into the Red and White Palace. A myriad of stone, wood, gold and precious stones was spent on the construction. The word "Potala" itself comes from Sanskrit, and means "Mystical Mountain." Potala is located at 3700 meters above sea level, its height is 115 meters, divided into 13 floors, with a total area of more than 130,000 square meters. There is no exact data on how many rooms and halls are in Potala. Their number is "somewhere over a thousand," and there are very few people who were able to get around them all. Potala is open to tourists. A few incarnations are not enough to inspect all of its relics and values. Today, Potala is a functioning palace museum. It serves the monks who support the work of the whole complex. Potala Palace is included in the UN World Heritage Book.

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