Lhasa is the most impressive of the few surviving traditional urban centers of Tibet. Among its splendid buildings are the Potala Palace, the traditional seat of the Dalai Lamas, and the Jokhang Temple, the most sacred building in the world of Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan architecture is increasingly being recognized as one of the great architectural traditions of the world. The Lhasa Atlas surveys the topography, environment, historical development, buildings, and townscape of old Lhasa. It also introduces future plans and discusses some of the issues concerning the safeguarding of the historical townscape in the ongoing process of urban development.
"This excellent, outstanding study is without precedent. It will be the mother lode for specialists and all readers interested in traditional Tibetan architecture or Lhasa for years to come." D.K. Dohanian, Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
"This detailed survey documents 336 traditional buildings in historic Old Lhasa constructed before 1950, when the isolated "Place of the Gods" had a population of only 30,000. Based upon seven years of research and collaboration with local authorities, the book teems with photographs, maps, floor and site plans, elevations, and a history of Tibet's celebrated ancient capital. While the Potala Palace Complex, seat of the Dalai Lamas (now a museum), and the Jokhang temple, Tibetan Buddhism's most sacred structure, receive considerable attention, lesser buildings inside the Lingkor (the route surrounding the old city) that have somehow survived Lhasa's explosive growth are also examined. The work is organized into four sections: architecture, townscape, individual buildings, and the conservation and future of historic Lhasa. The authors, both from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, are active in the Network for University Cooperation Tibet-Norway. Their text captures Lhasa's grandeur and is supplemented by gripping photographs. An attractive purchase for academic collections and for those specializing in religious and cultural studies." Library Journal