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How to preserve heritage and renew the 1,000-year-old Barkhor Street? Listen to the voices of scholars

"I came here once 23 years ago, and what a great build it is now! People from all over the country come here to engage in business, transcendence, tourism. Thousands of years Barkhor Street, is the Barkhor Street built by our ethnic groups. The culture of various ethnic groups are exchanged and intermingled here, and our Chinese family is happy together here."

-- In July 2021, General Secretary Xi Jinping lamented during a visit to Barkhor Street in Lhasa

How to preserve heritage and renew the 1,000-year-old Barkhor Street? Listen to the voices of scholars

The picture shows the scenery along the way to the Barkhor Street area of the old city of Lhasa

In the 7th century A.D., King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet married Princess Wencheng and Princess Shakyamun, and built the Xiaozhao Monastery and the Da Zhao Monastery. Over the years, people take the Dazho Monastery as the center of the clockwise turn around, gradually stepped out of a trail around the Dazho Monastery. Central University of Nationalities Professor Lobsang Kaiju said, because of the symbol of Tibetan and Chinese national unity of the Dazhao Monastery, so Barkhor developed into a multicultural neighborhood. The Barkhor Street area of Lhasa's ancient city carries a long history and is embedded with a splendid culture. In the process of cultural construction in Lhasa city, the historical, cultural and political and economic value of the Barkhor Street district will be brought into play. The key is that there must be professional theoretical basis and implementation guidance before the transformation of the neighborhood.

Barkhor historical and cultural district witnessed the spatial process of Lhasa city culture continued since the Tubo dynasty period, cohesion of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau polar habitat wisdom, bearing an important cultural memory of Chinese civilization diversified integration pattern. Professor Ren Yunying from the School of Architecture of Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology suggests that the preservation and transmission of cultural genes is the cornerstone of the cultural confidence of a great nation. A profound understanding of its ontological value from a local perspective is the key and origin of the construction of the protection and inheritance system of Lhasa's historical and cultural city.

Over the past 71 years since the peaceful liberation of Tibet, the urban development plans of Lhasa at different stages have taken the protection and development of the ancient city as the focus of work, and the Party and the State have invested 1.787 billion yuan to implement four ancient city protection projects. The Party and the State have invested 1.78 billion RMB to implement four projects to protect the ancient city, revise the scope of protection of the historic city, carry out special repairs and maintenance, demolish buildings that are not in harmony with the historical style, implement renovation projects for the roads, heating, electricity, water and drainage networks of the ancient city, improve firefighting and sanitation facilities, build the cultural landscape of the city, and shape the cultural taste of the city.

The deputy director of Qinghai-Tibet Polar Architecture Research Center of Lhasa Design Group Co., Ltd, Duoqing Bazhu, believes that Barkhor historical district is the birthplace of Lhasa city, the epitome of Tibet's historical and cultural development, and the city center that moves forward with the times, with high historical and cultural value and unique socio-economic functions. Its spatial pattern was laid down since the Songtsen Gampo period and gradually formed through a long historical period, and its pattern is deeply influenced by Tibetan culture.

How to preserve heritage and renew the 1,000-year-old Barkhor Street? Listen to the voices of scholars

The picture shows the sunlight in the old town of Barkhor

The spatio-temporal and temporal context of residential differentiation is an important clue to the excavation of the heritage value of the Barkhor Street historical and cultural district and the historical evidence of the construction of the Chinese national community of destiny. Today, the Barkhor ancient city is inhabited by more than 71,000 people of more than 20 nationalities, mainly Tibetan, Chinese, Hui and Menpa. For thousands of years, all ethnic groups have been living together here in harmony, creating a rich cultural heritage and a rich civilization. How to better protect it in the present time of development? According to Dr. Jing Zhang of Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology, exploring a residential relocation model applicable to the context of Barkhor Street is an important issue that needs to be urgently addressed in the conservation and sustainable development of the Barkhor historical district.

The only way to preserve the ancient city is to integrate it into modern society and into contemporary life, so that it can live forever in the interaction between history and the times. Overlooking Lhasa, the lofty and magnificent Potala Palace, standing as the first Dalmaji Temple, witnessing a thousand years of Sino-Tibetan "good thoughts never end" of the Tang-Fan Alliance monument, the majestic and solemn Qing government offices in Tibet, the ancient compound of the blend of time and space, and modern high-rise buildings stand side by side. Barkhor Street, the century-old store "summer hat gab", the old bright Gangqiong sweet tea house, Maji Ami Tibetan food bar, the seventh consciousness of Tibetan clothing experience museum ......4195 people of various nationalities operating commercial outlets, distributed in 35 streets and alleys in all directions. The "evergreen trees" and "sprouts" stand next to each other; residents, vendors, tourists, inheritors, entrepreneurs, pilgrims ...... are flowing and vibrant, and secularism and faith are harmoniously blended. The scene of people struggling for a better life in the ancient city of Lhasa contains the pulse of the millennium.

According to Maza Sonam Choza, Deputy Secretary General of the China Ethnic Architecture Research Association, Secretary General of the Tibetan Architecture Special Committee of the China Ethnic Architecture Research Association, and Director of the Qinghai-Tibetan Polar Architecture Research Center of the Lhasa Design Institute, the living cultural atmosphere of the ancient city of Lhasa, the vivid symbiotic relationship between people and heritage, and the spirituality, plurality, inclusiveness, and sense of harmony that immerse in it are the unique heritage values of the ancient city of Lhasa, which are unique in the world It is unique in the world. Awareness of this value is fundamental to the conservation of Lhasa's ancient city, leaving aside the physical heritage and conservation techniques.

How to preserve heritage and renew the 1,000-year-old Barkhor Street? Listen to the voices of scholars

The picture is the crowd of Barkhor Street sunbathing

The convergence of multiple forces is necessary to achieve better protection. Ga Zangben of the Qinghai-Tibet Polar Architecture Research Center of Lhasa Design Group Co., Ltd. proposed that the protection and renewal of the Barkhor historical and cultural district of the ancient city of Lhasa, while strengthening the macro guidance and regulation of the protection and development of the ancient city, the government needs to pay attention to the historical and cultural background of the ancient city, strengthen the scientific research force of the ancient city's history and culture, and establish a diversified mechanism for the protection of the ancient city is the key to the protection and development of the ancient city.

Bathed in the sunlight of the new era, how to organically integrate the thousand-year old Lhasa Barkhor district into the modern life atmosphere, in the preservation of heritage, in the heritage of renewal, renewed new vitality? More and more academic research results in architecture, history and ethnology will provide more solid scientific research support for this purpose, and the answer will become clearer and clearer in the continuous exploration. (China Tibet Network Reporter/Sun Jian Li Yuanmei Zhou Jing Photo/Wang Yuanyuan)