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Discovering the Historical Important Samdup tse Dzong Fortress of Shigatse

Explore Samdrup Tse Fortress: Shigatse’s Architectural Masterpiece


Samdrup Tse Fortress: A Historical Landmark in Shigatse

In the northern part of Shigatse city, on the beautiful slopes of Nyima Mountain, you’ll find the magnificent Samdrup Tse Fortress. This fortress, built in 1363, was once the center of power in Shigatse and is renowned for its significant historical and architectural beauty.

The Grand Design of Samdrup Tse Fortress: Echoes of the Potala Palace

Stretching over 280 meters in length and standing tall at over 120 meters, the Samdrup Tse Fortress is an architectural wonder. Its four-story main building, housing more than 300 rooms, brilliantly combines wood and stone. The design is so majestic that it’s often compared to the famous Potala Palace in Lhasa, earning it the nickname “Little Potala.”

The Fascinating Story of Its Creation: Inspired by Lhasa’s Iconic Palace

A tale of ambition and inspiration surrounds the fortress. Legend has it that the creators of Samdrup Tse were so envious of Lhasa’s Potala Palace that they decided to construct a similar structure. However, their efforts fell short of Potala’s grandeur, allegedly due to a withered radish that held the palace’s design.

A Blend of Cultural and Spiritual Significance A Fortress Steeped

The top floor of Samdrup Tse, known as the Sunshine Hall, was once the bedroom of the Fifth Dalai Lama. The third floor houses an array of Buddhist statues and sacred texts, while the intricate murals add to its spiritual ambiance. The lower floors served administrative purposes, housing judiciary offices and prisons.

shigatse Dzong
Shigatse Dzong

From Ruins to Resurrection: Samdrup Tse’s Transformation into a Cultural Museum


After facing destruction in 1969, Samdrup Tse Fortress was meticulously restored. In 2006, it reopened as the “Shigatse Dzong Mountain Museum,” preserving its rich history and culture.

A Visitor’s Guide to the Dzong Mountain Museum: Discovering History and Art

The Dzong Mountain Museum, housed within the fortress, is a cultural treasure trove. Open daily, this extensive museum, spreading across 12,000 square meters, features a range of exhibits that showcase the region’s history and art.

Experience the Local Culture at the Dzong Market: Treasures and Crafts

At the base of Samdrup Tse, a vibrant market awaits. Here, visitors can explore local handicrafts and find unique souvenirs, offering a perfect chance to experience the local culture and craftsmanship.

Whether you’re interested in history, art, or local traditions, Samdrup Tse Fortress and the Dzong Mountain Museum provide a unique and enriching experience in the heart of Shigatse.

About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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