The meaning of Rinpung Dzong “fortress on the heap of jewels” was built in 1644 at the command of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong is one of the most impressive dzongs and the finest example of Bhutanese architecture you’ll see. The inward-sloping wall forms a massive structure that towers over the town and is visible as a great white monolith from vantage points throughout the valley.
Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built it in 1646. It has always been one of Bhutan’s strongest and most important fortresses and on numerous occasions was used to defend Paro valley from invaders of Tibet. The dzong survived the 1897 earthquake and caught fire once in 1907, which was rebuilt in 1908. It was also the first meeting hall of the National Assembly and now holds the monastic school and government administrative offices.
West of the dzong downhill is the traditional cantilever timber bridge called Nyamai Zam, which spans the Pachu River. An earlier version of the bridge was removed to protect the dzong. You can walk across the bridge to the parking area near Ugyen Pelri Palace and onwards to the main Paro market. The Paro Tshechu (festival), one of the most popular with tourists, is held here.