Palace, located on the Red Hill on Beijing C. Road, Lhasa, is the greatest
monumental structure in all of Tibet.
Potala Palace was originally
built by King Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century. Destroyed by lightning
and war, it had been rebuilt by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1645. Iits construction
required the labors of more than 7000 workers and 1500 artists and craftsman.
Since then, it became the winter residence of the Dalai Lama and once
served as both the seat of government for Tibet and a religious center
for Tibetan Buddhism.
Potala Palace is 117 meters height with 13 floors and contains 1,000 rooms,
10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues. It is composed of the White Palace
and Red Palaces, with the red one in the middle. The White Palace is a
seven-floor building originally built in 1645. The entire building is
made of stone and wood and covers an area of 130,000 square meters. It
was both the residence of the current Dalai
Lama and tomb of the former. The Red Palace was built in 1690 after the
death of the Fifth Dailai Lama, which once served as the religious areas
of the palace. Beautiful murals painted on inner walls described the glory
and power of the Fifth Dalai Lama, One of the most famous describing the
Fifth Dalai Lama's visit to Emperor Shunzhi in Beijing in1652.
than 300 years, Potala Palace has treasured many culture relics such as
murals, stupas, statues, thangkas, and rare sutras. In December of 1994,
it was listed as UNESCOs World Heritage sites.