Potala Palace (Tib. ཕོ་བྲང་པོ་ཏ་ལ་, Podrang Potala, Wyl. pho brang po ta la) — the main palace and residence of the Dalai Lamas constructed in Lhasa by Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, the Fifth Dalai Lama. Its construction started in 1645 on a large hill upon the ruins of an old palace and hermitage, erected more than a thousand years before by King Songtsen Gampo. Up until the Chinese invasion, it also housed Tibet's central administration and the Namgyal Monastery. The palace is said to be the reflection on earth of Mount Potala (Wyl. ri po ta la; Skt. Potalaka), the pure buddha field of Avalokiteshvara in Sukhavati.