Lhasa Historic City Archive Appeal For Photos of Lhasa Houses

The following article is from the Summer, 1995 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

From the conservationist point of view, 1995, the year of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, was an absolute disaster for the city of Lhasa In a few months, the 1300-year-old Tibetan capital has lost more historic substance than in the last two years combined. Two more houses on the Barkor, Lhasa's intermediate pilgrim road encircling the Jokhang Temple (built ca. 641 C.E.) were pulled downboth dated back to the 17th century.

The Lhasa Historic City Archive project, initiated in late 1993 between Germany, Paris and England, has photographed every every pre-1950 building still standing in Lhasa. These photos, together with the name, location and approximate age of each building, will be put into a preservationist catalogue to be presented to the municipal government of Lhasa together with the urgent request to protect these last buildingsslightly more than 150 old houses built in the traditional Tibetan style.

The Archives Project is also collecting photographs of buildings already pulled down.

Any photographs showing old city houses (please don't send pictures of temples!!) will be tremendously helpful in their on-going efforts to save what's left of Lhasa's architectural heritage. Old photo, new photo, b/w, color or slide, any quality. Individuals and institutions possessing collections of old pictures (even paintings!) of Lhasa houses are also kindly requested to contact them. They need to know when the photo was taken and who should be credited (include contact information if possible). Thanks to eveiyone who, by action or by silent prayer, supports these efforts.

Contact: LHASA HISTORIC CITY ARCHIVES, c/o Andre Alexander, 01/02, Schwartzkopffstr. 9,10115 Berlin, Germany.


Map of the inner city of Lhasa, surrounding the Jokhang Temple built ca. 641 C.E. Black areas indicate buildings demolished between 1948 and 1994; grey areas show demolitions this year. More demolitions are scheduled to follow.

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