About 15 kilometres from Leh is the Shey and is one of the most beautiful villages in Ladakh. In the past, Shey was the capital of Ladakh. Being one of the oldest palaces, it was built first in 1655; the palace is mostly in ruins now. The palace was built by the king of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal who used it as a summer retreat. The palace also houses a monastery which is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue. The monastery houses an idol of Shakyamuni Buddha.