Potala Palace [布达拉宫]

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The Potala Palace, perched at over 3700m above sea level, sits on a hill in the center of Lhasa. It is one of the largest structures in Tibet, and is an amazing example of Tibetan architecture and design. In 1994, it was placed on the list of World Cultural Heritage sites by the UN. The palace houses a vast array of Tibetan treasures, most of them religious in nature. There is a huge quantity of gold and silver, as well as a priceless collection of ancient Buddhist scriptures.

Construction began during the reign of the fifth Dali Lama, and took many years, so the current palace is a mixture of different design styles and techniques, built in many stages. Though the design is uniquely Tibetan, there are numerous influences from the architectural styles of neighboring regions, such as Nepal and Bhutan.

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