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Rinpung Dzong

Rinpung Dzong

Rinpung Dzong, Known as the Fortress on a Heap of Jewels, Rinpung Dzong or Rinchen Pung Dzong resides in the Paro Valley of Bhutan. Constructed in 1644 for the purpose of defending the Paro valley from aggression by Tibet, it is considered one of the most impressive structures of Bhutanese architecture. What makes it stand out is the intricate wood work with much of the large beams being slotted into each other and held together without nails. The Rinpung Dzong was struck by an earthquake in 1897 and was also severely damaged by fire in 1907 but it managed to survive these disasters. Formerly the meeting hall for the National Assembly, now it serves to house both the monastic body and district government offices, including the local courts. Even with the government facilities, this site still houses 200 monks and holds a great annual festival called Tshechu. This festival is held from the eleventh to the fifteenth day of the second month of the traditional Bhutanese lunar calendar and attracts thousands of local people and tourists every year.

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