The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, served as the winter home for the Dalai Lama from the 7th century until 1959, when he was forced to flee the region for the safety of India. Though His Holiness is still in exile, thousands of curious visitors visit his ancestral home every year, tracking in dirt and scuffing up his floors.
It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important symbols of Tibetan Buddhism.
At more than 300 feet high, the palace follows you around Lhasa, drawing in your gaze like the Mona Lisa and begging you to look at it. Its sheer cliffs and step design give the illusion that it is a natural extension of the surrounding mountains, a rocky outcrop that has always been there and always will be.
This post is part of fellow blogger Ed Mooney’s “Capturing History Challenge.” I encourage you to hop over to his site to see the other entries and also to enjoy his beautiful photography of Ireland.