Some 5 km south of Kathmandu, is located Patan, the city of fine arts. This ancient capital, Newar, which is home to the country’s most magnificent works of art and the most prestigious craftsmen, was once called Laltipur. Built on a plateau crossed by the Bagmati, sacred river, this city has become a living museum!
It is the oldest of the cities of Kathmandu Valley and represents perfectly the richness and fineness of their culture and traditions of yesteryear. Newars craftsmen have passed on, generation after generation, the prestigious know-how in woodcarving, the construction of temples and religious monuments. They once staged Hindu mythology by tirelessly sculpting the lives of Gods and Goddesses. And even today, the same know-how is perpetuated in its streets.
It was built as a huge temple dedicated to the religious, surrounded by four great stupas, one at each of the cardinal points. Its temples and innumerable statues adorn the city like so many offerings to the deities, always venerated.
There are more than a thousand Buddhist monuments in this city and its surroundings. But the most basic and unmistakable work remains on the Durbar Square in Patan, in the city center. By visiting the site, one quickly understands why the site is classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.0