Dzong Fortress

tibentan buildingDzong architecture is a distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the present and former Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas: Bhutan and Tibet. The architecture is massive in style with towering exterior walls surrounding a complex of courtyards, temples, administrative offices, and monks' accommodation. Dzong fortress lies at Dzong Hill at the center of Gyangtse, Shigatse city.

Different from other scenic spots celebrating Tibetan Buddhism, Dzong Fortress is famous for a patriotic story. In 1904, British troops invaded into Tibet and occupied parts of Tibetan territory. However, they encountered fierce opposition from the strong and brave Gyangtse people. They defended their city from a fortress on Dzong Hill, using primitive guns and cannons, swords, and even bows and arrows to fight against their invaders equipped with advanced guns. The hard defense lasted for 8 months and finally failed. Gyangtse warriors exhausted stones on the hill, which were their last ammunitions. The remaining soldiers refused to surrender and instead jumped off the cliff to show their patriotism. The famous movie Red River Valley, starred by Paul Kersey and Ning Jing right tells this touching history.

The famous cliff where this fight took place is located in the center of Gyangtse, with a height of 125 meters and an altitude of 4,020 meters. Dzong fortress is also known as 'Hero Site', a monument that commemorates this heroic event was built on it. Today Gyangtse people are enjoying a peaceful and happy life. Big and small houses brushed in pale grey harmoniously dot with colorful prayer flags fly on their rooftops. From the top of Dzong hill, visitors can get a bird's-eye view of the city.

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