The Potala palace (after the Potala, the pure land called the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara ) in Lhasa was during the time of the Central Tibetan Ganden Phodrang government ( Tib: dga ' ldan pho brang, reigned from 1642 to 1959 ) the official residence and seat of government of the Dalai Lamas. The huge palace situated on the hill " Mar -po -ri " ( Tib: dmar po ri; " Red Mountain " ), the 130 meters above Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous region rises.
The first palace was built in the year 637 by Songtsen Gampo for his wife Wen Cheng on the "Red Mountain" in Lhasa. The palace was completed in 641. In the 8th century Chinese troops destroyed him largely.
In the 17th century the 5th Dalai Lama ordered the construction of a palace on the "Red Mountain" on. The remains of Songtsen Gampo's palace have been integrated into the construction of the larger system. The construction of the first part of today's palace, the " Phodrang Karpo " ( Tib: pho brang dkar po; " White Palace " ), was completed in 1648 under the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama, " Phodrang Marpo " (Tib. : pho brang dmar po; " Red Palace " ) was not completed until 1694, after his death under Desi Sanggye Gyatsho. At this stage of construction there, ruled by a detailed report with an extensive list of Newar craftsmen, who were employed in the construction. The last major change took place in 1922. Under the 13th Dalai Lama several rooms have been renovated and the Red Palace still added two more floors.
The construction of the Norbulingka, which was henceforth used as a summer palace, the Potala was called " Winter Palace ".
The Chinese Cultural Revolution was the Potala Palace as one of the few cultural monuments in Tibet comparatively unscathed, since the palace had to serve as a guest of the Chinese occupation army. It is now used as a museum, but one next to the Jokhang Temple still among the most important pilgrimage sites of Tibetan Buddhists.
The Potala Palace is since 1961 on the list of monuments of the People's Republic of China ( 1-107 ). Since 1994, the " Historic Ensemble Potala Palace in Lhasa " is available as a World Heritage Site on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The ensemble is one next to the Potala Palace and Norbulingka Summer Palace and the Jokhang Temple. In 2004, the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region has invested 70 million yuan ( equivalent to approximately 7 million euros ). In the renovation of the Potala Palace, Norbulingka and the Sa'gya Monastery
The palace extends in an east-west direction at about 350 meters in a north-south direction on a further 300 meters. In the complex spread over 13 floors 999 rooms.
The Red Palace are located in the upper floors of the private quarters of the Dalai Lama. In addition to large ceremonies and meditation halls and many smaller chapels are in the system, the grave - Chorten the previous reincarnations of the Dalai Lama. Eight Dalai Lamas were buried in separate tombs, starting with the 5th Dalai Lama, whose grave is the most magnificent. For this purpose, approximately 3700 kg of gold were processed at a height of 17.4 meters over three floors.