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09:06 May 06 2009

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English>>Tibet Online
Tibet's three "Potala Palaces"
15:58, May 05, 2009  

Photo taken on May 2, 2009, shows the exterior of the Potala Palace, Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, photo from Xinhua.

Originally built in the seventh century AD, the Potala Palace has a history of over 1,300 years. Regarded as a majestic architectural complex situated at the highest altitude in the world, it consists of palaces, castles and monasteries and occupies a total area of over 360,000 square meters. It is 360 meters from east to west and 270 meters from south to north, and its main building has 13 stories with a total height of 117 meters. The Potala Palace was added to the “UNESCO World Heritage” list in 1994, and the state has twice invested large sums of money toward large-scale maintenance.

Photo taken on April 29, 2009, shows the exterior of the Sangzhutse Fortress, Xigaze Prefecture, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, photo from Xinhua.

Samdrubtse Dzong dates back over 600 years and is one of the earliest buildings in the Shigatse prefecture. Built in 1363, the castle once lay in ruins due to years of erosion and man-made sabotage, but was reconstructed at the end of 2004. Now rebuilt, the castle blends harmoniously into one with the mountain, giving a rich sense of historical vicissitudes. The reconstructed Samdrubtse Dzong, also known as the "small Potala Palace," has become an exhibition center for Tibetan culture in the regions surrounding the Shigatse prefecture.

Photo taken on April 14, 2009, shows the exterior of the Tsenden Monastery, the "Potala Palace" in Sog County, Nagqu Prefecture, northern Tibet, photo from Xinhua.

The Tsangdain Monastery is the "Potala Palace" of Sog County in the Tibetan Nagqu prefecture. The famous monastery of the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism is situated on a hill at the southern tip of Sog County. Originally built in 1667 AD, the Tsangdain Monastery was reconstructed with government funds in 1985. Leaning against a hill, the monastery consists of white and red palaces and strongly resembles the Lhasa-based Potala Palace in architectural style.

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