Bhutan: Punakha Dzong (Fortress)

Dzong is a fortress that serves as an administrative center and also a temple. There are dozens of dzongs in Bhutan, most dating from the 16-18th centuries. The Punakha Dzong is the second largest, the second oldest, and the most picturesque. It was constructed in 1637, and was the seat of the Bhutanese government until 1955. The architecture is grand – massive walls, columns, square windows – all richly decorated with paintings and dragon figures. The courtyards open onto massive towering walls of the buildings, and your neck hurts from looking up the massive 6 stories. It’s truly I like any other fortress or temple you see anywhere else.