The Potala Palace is the house that held the Dalai Lama before he ran away to India to seek refuge following the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Its location between two famous monasteries and Lhasa make it the ideal for being the focal point of government.
The name originates from Mount Potala in India. Lhasa has three hills that stand for 'Three Protectors of Tibet'. Its construction was initiated in 1645 by Lozang Gyatso, the Great Fifth Dalai Lama when it was pointed out to be the ideal place for establishing government. Tibetan Buddhists revere the place as a pilgrimage site. It houses tombs of eight Dalai Lamas.
The building is 400 metres in the direction extending from east to west. It has 350 metres of its length extending between north and south directions. It has stone walls with 3 metres of thickness. These walls have a thickness of 5 metres at the base. The result is a slope like structure. To shield it against the effect of earthquakes, it has copper mixed in with the foundations.
The building has 13 stories. There are more than 1,000 rooms that house 10,000 shrines besides 200,000 statues.
The construction took three years to complete. The furnishing was completed in 45 years. The palace suffered some damages at the time of the rebellion that took place in 1959 against the Chinese. The palace's windows were damaged by repeated shelling on the part of the Chinese. The Cultural Revolution of 1956 threatened similar damages to the structure. At the end of the day, more than 100,000 documents of historical significance found themselves destroyed. A lot of them were damaged, while few escaped from the building.