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Read about palatial architecture in Bhutan and architectural elements of Bhutanese palace.

Bhutan Palaces

Palaces were constructed much recently in Bhutan, only after Wangchuck dynasty came to power. Jigme Namgyal, the father of the first king, built some of the first Bhutanese palaces. Most of the palaces were built between 1870 to 1940. During this time, Bhutan had a relatively peaceful and stable period. With the diminishing use of dzongs or fortresses, palaces were built in the Bumthang and Trongsa regions. Similar to a dzong in terms of architecture, the main architectural elements of a Bhutanese palace is the central building that usually had the residence of the master and a private chapel on the upper floor.

A courtyard surrounded this building while the kitchen and the servantsí quarters were situated in an outer structure. Elaborate and ornate, places usually had rich and intricate wood work and the windows in the outer building were painted profusely. The most notable palaces in Bhutan are the palaces of Lamey Goemba, Wangdue Choeling and Ugyen Choeling in Bumthang; Kuenga Rabten and Samdrup Choeling situated south of Trongsa Dzong and the mansions of Gangtey in Paro. Ugyen Pelri Palace built around 1930 in Paro is unique in terms of palatial architecture of Bhutan as it as built on the model of the Zangdopelri (the celestial abode of Guru Rinpoche). Paro Poenlop Tshering Penjor built it.

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