Shigatse Dzong – historic fortress and administrative center of Shigatse
The majestic city of Shigatse Dzong stands atop a hill overlooking the ancient city in Tibet, offering an impressive view of the peripheral landscape. Located in the historic city of Shigatse, the Dzong was built in the 17th century by Karma Phuntsok Namgyal, the second in the line of the Nyak family who governed Tibet from 1565 to 1642. Over the centuries, it has served as a political and religious center, and today is one of Tibet’s most important cultural sites.
Shigatse Dzong is a testament to the cultural and religious diversity that has enriched Tibet over the years and pays homage to the people who have shaped this remote and beautiful part of the world. Its formidable walls and towers remind us of the strength and resilience of Tibetan culture and tradition. The sprawling complex of temples and courtyards is a stunning example of Tibetan art, architecture, and culture.
Perched atop a lofty hill at an elevation of 3,860 meters, the Shigatse Dzong overlooks the Yarlung Tsangpo (al Brahmaputra River) and Niang chu (Nyang Chu) rivers, its majestic presence a testament to the town’s former glory as the capital of U-Tsang province. Despite its high altitude, the average temperature remains moderate at 16°C in the summer and −5°C during winter.
Yet, the oxygen content of the air is most striking – at 67 percent of the sea level; the air is thin and crisp. The county, whose population is estimated at 94,000, is also named after the town of Shigatse, and the iconic Tashilhunpo Monastery stands as a reminder of its rich cultural heritage.