Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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The Potala Palace -- Buddhism Palace on the Tibetan Plateau

A noble born clan leader in Tibetan named Songtsen Gampo was brave and intelligent, who united the Tibetan Plateau and established the first documented kingdom there.

 

Afterwards, he planed to establish a good diplomatic relation with the Tang Empire, by requesting a marriage to a princess of Tang, in the year 638. 

Then, the Emperor Li Shimin bestowed the Princess Wencheng to marry to Songtsen Gampo.

 

In order to provide the honorable princess of Tang, also the future Empress of Tibet, a hospitable place to live, the king of Tibet commanded to build the Potala Palace on one of their holy mountains.

 

Soon, they got married in the year 641, which was a famous and important political alliance in the history of China.

 

Afterwards, the King and his queen lived in the Potala Palace happily. 

Fresco Inside the Potala Palace

The First King of Tibet and His Queen the Princess of Tang

When this first kingdom of Tibetan was perished in about 200 years later, the Potala palace was partly destroyed.

 

Until in the year 1645, the fifth Dalai Lama rebuilt and expanded this palace, supported by their Suzerain, the emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1636 - 1912). In the following decades, this palace had been expanded for several times. 

 

The Potala Palace is about 360,000 square meters large, and its buildings are about 110 meters high.

 

There are many valuable relics inside of the palace, like large frescoes, Buddhism art pieces, gold and gem made pagodas, paintings, wood carvings, etc.

 

However, as an important and holy religious site, tourists are not allowed to take photos when visiting there; this made the Potala Palace one of the most mysterious tourism places in China.

Potala Palace in Dusk