Even though it occupies a major place in the history of the Tibetan region, the city is now largely under the influence of Chinese culture.
All the same, Shigaste has retained a few wonderful relics of its past, such as the fortress (dzong) and the Tibetan monastery of Tashilhunpo. Nestled at the foot of Mount Nyima, the latter dates to the middle of the 15th century and remains the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama ("master-scholar"). It is particularly remarkable for its size – that of a small village – and its huge statue of Buddha (27 m).
The prefecture of Shigatse is also home to an important base camp. Located in Tingri county, it is the rallying point and place of departure for mountaineers who set out to climb Mount Everest by the north face.