Potala Palace on Marpo Ri Hill, in Lhasa, Tibet
Photo credit: @inverness85
Potala Palace, winter residence of the Dalai Lamas since the 7th century, perched 117 m (384 ft) on top of Marpo Ri, the "Red Hill", and towering more than 300 m (980 ft) above the Lhasa Valley, has the honor of being the highest ancient palace in the world, with its highest point reaching 3,750 m (12,300 ft) above sea level.
In 641, Songtsan Gambo, King of Tubo (a Tibetan kingdom), had the Potala Palace built for Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty, whom he was soon to marry. This structure was later burned to the ground during a war and was rebuilt in the 17th century by the Fifth Dalai Lama.
The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is named after Mount Potalaka, the mythological abode of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, a holy hill in South India.
The golden roof group, on the top of the Red Palace, is composed of seven roofs made of gilded bronze.
Considered to be one of the wonders of the world for its physical structure and its importance in Tibetan history, this 13-stories-high palace has over 1,000 rooms. It has earned the name “heaven of arts”, for numerous invaluable treasures are collected within.
In 1994, Potala Palace was listed as one of the World’s Culture Heritages by UNESCO.