Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet website has to say about the Paro Dzong:
“The Paro Dzong is one of Bhutan's most impressive and well-known dzongs, and perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture. The massive buttressed walls that tower over the town are visible throughout the valley. The dzong's Buddhist name means 'Fortress on a Heap of Jewels'.
In 1644 Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal ordered the construction of the dzong on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche. The fort was used on numerous occasions to defend the Paro valley from invasions by Tibet. The British political officer John Claude White reported that in 1905 there were old catapults for throwing great stones stored in the rafters of the dzong's veranda.
Below the dzong, a traditional wooden covered bridge spans the Paro River. This is a reconstruction of the original bridge, which was washed away in a flood in 1969. Earlier versions of this bridge were removed in time of war to protect the dzong.
An interesting side note: scenes from Bernardo Bertolucci's 1995 film Little Buddha were filmed here.
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
It is unfortunate that there is only one main east-west highway in Bhutan, because it meant that we had to travel back along the same route we had taken since the beginning of our explorations of the country. It also meant that we had to face the washboard sections again as well, in the areas where the road was torn up by the comings and goings of the huge trucks hauling sand and equipment for the construction of the new gravity dam.
The one good thing was that scenery tends to look a little different when you are coming at it from a different direction.
We did not visit the Paro Dzong; I guess we were more than a little ‘dzonged-out’ by this point of our trip. We wanted to focus our attention on our hike to the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ instead.