Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Construction on the Tibetan Plateau
At altitudes of over 4,000 metres, there are not many natural resources to use for home construction. Yet the architecture in Spiti is beautiful if somewhat time consuming.
Mud and soil is expertly mixed with water. This goo is then kneaded by hand for several hours; all air-bubbles must be completely removed . They are then shaped into bricks and left in the sun for two weeks to dry out.
The brick constructions are then plastered over and white-washed. Textures are sometimes added. The doorways and windows are then elaborately decorated with contrasting colours seen as a reflection of opposites in Tantric Buddhism.
Of course the highlight of Tibetan architecture has to be the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Construction began in the 7th Century and with it´s thirteen stories, was for hundred of years the World´s tallest skyscraper.
the beautiful Potala Palace - for many years the world´s tallest building