Photos by Edwin Moise, May 26, 2005

The Potala

The Potala, in Lhasa, the palace first of the kings of Tibet, later of the Dalai Lamas, is built on a steep hill. The earliest version is believed to have been built by King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. The Fifth Dalai Lama began construction of the present version in 1645. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama fled in 1959, and has been living in exile up to the present day.

Zhou Enlai (Chou En-lai) is said to have been the person who protected the Potala from destruction during the Cultural Revolution.

Stepped wall beside steps on the southeast side of the Potala


Couryard high up on the Potala.

The Dalai Lama lived in this tower overlooking the courtyard, until his flight from Tibet in 1959. He would watch from the top balcony when ceremonies were held in the courtyard.

The Potala, Seen from Below

The Potala: Renovation Work

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Copyright © 2005, Edwin E. Moïse. Revised June 24, 2005.