Places in History: The Potalia Palace

With today’s post, I am starting a new series to go along with “This Day In Strange History” and “Tied to Today” – Places in History.  Each installment of this series will tell the story of a place from the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.  I hope you enjoy reading about some of these amazing locations from around the world.

The Potalia Palace Complex located is located in Lhasa, high on the Tibetan Plateau.  The site was the residence of the Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism from its founding in 637 CE – 1959 when the 14th (and current) Dalai Lama was forced to flee into exile following the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.  The modern palace was constructed in the 17th century and is a architectural marvel  and is unique for its amazing natural surroundings as the pictures below will show.  It is still an active Buddhist monastery.

The complex’s main constituent parts are the White Palace and the Red Palace.  The White Palace was the actual residence of the Dalai Lama and also includes the burial sites of eight previous Dalai Lamas.  The Red Palace is primarily a religious center and monastery.  It includes numerous chapels for prayer and meditation and a large library dedicated to Buddhist scholarship and learning.  The complex was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

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Featured Image: “Potalia Palace” By Coolmanjackey – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.
The Red Palace“By René Heise – Own work, CC0.
Interior of the Potalia Palace“By Luca Galuzzi, CC BY-SA 2.5.
The White Palace” By –, CC BY-SA 2.0.
Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa.” UNESCO.