Portala Palace, located on the top of Moburi (the Red Hill), looks down on the city of Lhasa like an immense protector, its red and white walls guiding travelers to the site from far away, as it can be seen for miles across the area. Constructed in the 17th century by the fifth Dalai Lama, the palace was once the seat of Tibetan governance until it was moved to Norbulingka Palace in 1755. Getting to the palace itself involves climbing several flights of steps that wind their way up the side of the hill. The climb is not an easy one, and in the high altitude of Lhasa, foreign tourists often need to take a rest at several points along this huge climb.
The highest “ancient palace” in the world, its highest point reaches a staggering 3,750 meters above sea level and includes over 1,000 rooms on 13 floors, with stunning gilded roofs. Built in two parts, the Red Palace and the White Palace, this monument of ancient Tibetan architecture has stood for centuries as a monument of Tibetan Buddhism.