Lhasa is the capital city of Tibet, which is now a part of China. Like much of Tibet, Lhasa is in the Himalaya Mountains, the highest mountains on earth, and the city is over 12,000 feet above sea level!
The largest building in Lhasa, and one of the largest religious structures in the world, is called the Potala, the “Palace of the Gods.” The Potala has served as the government headquarters of Tibet, as a Buddhist monastery, and as the home of the Dalai Lama, the head of all Tibetan Buddhists.
It was begun in the year 700, on a steep hill outside the city, and can be reached only by long zig-zagging stairways that climb the hill. Altogether, the nine-story Potala has about 500 rooms and more than 1,400 windows, and can house about 1,000 monks!
In earlier times, Lhasa was known as the “Forbidden City,” since only Tibetans were allowed to enter the sacred city!
The roof and the towers of the Potala are covered with glittering gold!