The Potala Palace
When Tibet's spiritual and political leader fled, he was forced to leave behind one of the world's most magnificent buildings, the Potala, winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century (with the Norbulingka being the summer residence).
Pictured: The Potala Palace, HH The Dalai Lama's former residence and one of a few monasteries not destroyed by the Chinese Communists. There were more than 6,000 monasteries in Tibet where over 20 per cent of the male population was resident. The Chinese invasion destroyed all but a handful of these monasteries and allowed only some of the most famous to remain, for the purposes of propaganda and tourism income.
The Potala consists of the White and the Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, and is built on the Red Mountain in the centre of the Lhasa valley, at an altitude of 3,700 m. At the time of the invasion, many of its treasures were looted by the Communists.
It is now a popular tourist attraction and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Chinese government is believed to have taken active interest in its preservation, as it is a tourist attraction bringing much-needed foreign income to the regime ...