- Potala named after a holy hill in South India is a Sanskrit word meaning "Abode of the Avalokitesvara (Buddha of Mercy)." Legend has it that in the 7th century, to greet his bride, Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty (618B.C. - 907B.C.) of China, the then Tibet King Songtsen Gampo built a 9-storey palace with a thousand rooms up on the Red Hill and named it Potala. Later, with the collapse of the Songtsen Gampo Dynasty, the ancient palace was almost destroyed in wars.
- What we see at present is the architecture of the Qing Dynasty (1644B.C. - 1911B.C.) and the continuous expanding work outcome since the 17th century.
- The Potala Palace, winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century, symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet.
- The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley, at an altitude of 3,700m. Also founded in the 7th century, the Jokhang Temple Monastery is an exceptional Buddhist religious complex.
Corridor inside the Potala Palace
- Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama's former summer palace, constructed in the 18th century, is a masterpiece of Tibetan art. The beauty and originality of the architecture of these three sites, their rich ornamentation and harmonious integration in a striking landscape, add to their historic and religious interest.
Mural inside the Potala Palace.
- Enclosed within massive walls, gates and turrets built of rammed earth and stone the White and Red Palaces and ancillary buildings of the Potala Palace rise from Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley at an altitude of 3,700 metres. As the winter palace of the Dalai Lama from the 7th century CE the complex symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet.
Paintings and detail inside the Potala Palace.
- Potala Palace is composed of 2 parts, the Red Palace as the centre and the White Palace as two wings.
- The Red Palace or Potrang Marpo is the highest part of the centre that is completely devoted to religious study and Buddhist prayer. It was painted to red to represent stateliness and power.
- It consists of a complicated layout of different halls, chapels and libraries on many levels with an array of smaller galleries and winding passages: The Great West Hall, Dharma Cave, The Saint's Chapel, The Tomb of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and etc.