Proud and mighty, Dzong, the fortress of the former monarch of the region, rises above Gyangtse, once one of the third largest city in Tibet. The fortress once accommodated the governor of the district and was the region’s administrative centre. Despite certain obligations, the Dzong monarch was relatively independent and was permitted to rule this region and its inhabitants.
Of Tibet’s original 16 monasteries, only two survived China’s Cultural Revolution and particularly well known is the Sakyapa Academy Monastery, that managed to survive the Revolution.
One of the biggest monuments in Tibetan architecture is the unique Kumbum Chörten, a three-dimensional Mandala that can be entered. Eyes decorate the upper part of the stupa. When following the traditional ritual walk through the Kumbum-Chorten, one passes symbolically through the entire Buddhist journey of salvation and into Nirvana. The journey begins on the lowest level, with simple deities and then follows the entire Pantheon of Tibet, immortalized by both sculptures and wall paintings.
Today, in the old Tibetan trading town of Gyangtse, ‘all-seeing eyes of Buddha’ continue to watch over the Kumbum, as well as the welfare of the faithful.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.