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Potala Palace


Built during the period of Tubo King Songtsan Gampo in the 7th century, the Potala Palace (here seen in 1956) was originally called Red Hill Palace Castle (Phodrang Marpa Trize in Tibetan). Wind, rain, lightning and war eventually destroyed the old palace. In the early Qing Dynasty, led by the Fifth Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobsang Gyamco, the Potala Palace saw large-scale extension, reaching its present-day grandeur. During the extension, Qing Emperor Kangxi gave orders to select skilled craftsmen from across the nation and send them to Tibet to take part in the project. Since the 1980s, the Potala Palace has undergone two large-scale repairs, with experts and technicians of numerous ethnic groups participating. Potala Palace reflects the wisdom and painstaking efforts of many craftsmen of ancient China and is a cultural treasure of the Chinese nation. Over the past millennium, it witnessed a slave society, feudal society and new socialist era, and the long and close historical and cultural contacts between Tibet and the hinterlands of China, and deep friendship between the Tibetan and the Han and other ethnic groups.

The world-famous Potala Palace found its way into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. In 2000 and 2001, the well-known Jokhang Monastery and Norbu Lingka were added.

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