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The archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley, containing fortified buildings from the Islamic period as well as Buddhist monastic ensembles and sanctuaries, are one of Afghanistan’s most significant sites. However, the area has been shaken by political unrest and terrorism; in 2001 the two standing Buddha statues – formerly the largest standing Buddha carvings in the world – were destroyed by the Taliban. In 2007, two more attacks severely damaged an ancient rock carving of a seated Buddha.



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Set in deep river valley between towering mountains, the soaring Minaret of Jam is a striking structure. Dating back to the 12th century, it is covered in elaborate brickwork and an outstanding example of the architecture and ornamentation of the Islamic period in Central Asia. The leaning tower, which was built by the great Ghurid Sultan Ghiyas-od-din, was placed on the danger list in 2002, due to a lack of staff to ensure the security and preservation of the property.



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With its baroque mansions and gardens, grand monuments, Ringstrasse and medieval core, Vienna’s city center received UNESCO status in 2001. But with a new high-rise project threatening to change the city’s skyline, its historic center was placed on the danger list in 2017. UNESCO said: “Vienna’s continuing development requires a very sensitive approach that takes into account the attributes that sustain the outstanding universal value of the property.”



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With its sweeping savannahs home to endangered species, including black rhinoceroses, elephants, hippopotamuses and red-fronted gazelles, the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park is a significant habitat. It is the largest park in the central African savannahs and also contains extraordinary natural formations. Sadly, its integrity is under threat due to poaching and grazing. A lack of protection and land management measures were other reasons it was inscribed on the list in 1997.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


The archaeological site of Abu Mena near Alexandria houses the remains of an early Christian holy city, which was built over the tomb of the martyr Menas of Alexandria, who died in AD 296. The foundations of some of the remnants of its great buildings, such as the basilica, have collapsed due to a rise in the water table. The site remains unstable and it was inscribed on the danger list in 2001.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


A holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, this age-old center is home to innumerable treasures and historic monuments, including the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall. It has been on the danger list since 1982. Besides political instability, the site is also threatened by urbanization. In 2007, UNESCO stated its concern about the “obstacles and practices, such as archaeological excavations or new constructions” around the Old City.



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The inland sea of Lake Turkana, the largest desert lake in the world, is longer than Kenya’s coastline. Often known as the Jade Sea because of its remarkable color, the lake is a stopover for migrant waterfowl and an important breeding ground for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and many venomous snakes. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997, but with concerns over the impact of a dam on the lake’s flow and ecosystem, it was added to the danger list in 2018.



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A flourishing Greek colony, Cyrene was founded in northeastern Libya around 631 BC by a group of emigrants from the Aegean island of Thera. It came under Roman rule in 96 BC and remained a great capital until an earthquake in AD 365. Its treasures include temples dedicated to Apollo, Demeter and Zeus. Along with four other sites in Libya, it was marked as under threat in 2016 due to damage caused by the conflict affecting Libya and the threat of further harm it poses.



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The Old Town of Ghadamès – known as “the pearl of the desert” – is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and provides an excellent example of a traditional settlement, with its domestic design and visible division of architectural functions. But in 2016, Ghadamès – along with Libya’s other World Heritage Sites – was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger because of damage caused by the conflict and future perils.



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The Roman ruins of Leptis Magna on Libya’s Mediterranean coast are considered some of the finest remains of Roman architecture in the world. Birthplace of Roman emperor Septimius Severus, who later enlarged and embellished the city, it was one of the most beautiful cities in the empire with its harbor, imposing public monuments, marketplace, shops and residential districts. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 and also added to the danger list in 2016.



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Founded as a Phoenician trading post on the Mediterranean coast, Sabratha was also part of the short-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa. The city was a Roman colony during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, around 165-166 BC. Sadly, the complex of Roman temples and mosaics has suffered looting and been the site of fighting in recent years. It was also classified as under threat by UNESCO in 2016.



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On the borders of Tassili N’Ajjer in Algeria (also a World Heritage Site), the vast desert landscape of Tadrart Acacus is home to one of the world’s most significant rock art sites. It features thousands of cave paintings and engravings, dating from 12,000 BC to AD 100. According to UNESCO: “They reflect marked changes in the fauna and flora, and also the different ways of life of the populations that succeeded one another in this region of the Sahara.” It joined the danger list in 2016.



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Madagascar’s Atsinanana Rainforests, which are comprised of six national parks, are well-known for their biodiversity and threatened, rare species, including primates and lemurs. But the rainforests are in danger: illegal logging and the hunting of endangered lemurs is threatening the integrity of the site. Wildfires, mining and illegal activities were also deemed by UNESCO to be a serious threat.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Set on the Niger River, the 55-foot mud-brick pyramidal structure was constructed by Askia Mohamed, the Emperor of Songhai in 1495 in his capital Gao. The site, which was recognized by UNESCO in 2004, also includes two flat-roofed mosques, a cemetery and a square. The Tomb of Askia is now used as a mosque and cultural center by the people of Gao. The tomb was marked as endangered in 2012 due to conflict-related damage.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



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Ténéré within the Sahara Desert is a vast stretch of sand that extends from northeastern Niger into western Chad. It is the largest protected area in Africa at 7,736,000 hectares. The natural reserves are home to an array of plants and animals, including three threatened species of antelopes. The site was inscribed on the danger list in 1992 for a variety of reasons including political instability, poaching and illegal grazing.



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The old city of Hebron in the West Bank, which includes a site of pilgrimage for the three religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – was recognized as a Palestinian World Heritage Site in 2017, sparking outrage from Israel. The historic center was also placed on the endangered list. The Tomb of the Patriarchs as it is known to Jews, or al-Ibrahimi Mosque as it known to Muslims, is revered by all three religions as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s burial place.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


The largest national park in Senegal is located on the banks of the Gambia River and home to an array of species including Derby elands, chimpanzees, lions, leopards and a large population of elephants, as well as numerous birds, reptiles and amphibians. It was listed as a World Heritage Site in danger in 2007, due to insufficient resources to protect the wildlife from poaching, as well as bush fires, and the premature drying up of ponds and their invasion by plants.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Syria has six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all of which have either been destroyed or severely damaged as a result of the ongoing conflict in the country. They were all placed on the list in 2013 when tensions escalated. One of these sites is the ancient city of Aleppo, including the Umayyad Mosque, the Citadel, mosques, churches, museums and other significant historic buildings. UNESCO estimates that 60% of the old city of Aleppo has been severely damaged, with 30% totally destroyed.



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This ancient city was once the capital of the Roman province of Arabia and a stopover for pilgrims on the ancient caravan route to Mecca. The site included a magnificent 2nd-century Roman theater, early Christian ruins and several mosques. As a result of the ongoing civil war, fighting has caused irreparable damage to much of this precious historical site.



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Syria’s capital, Damascus, is one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world. It had 125 monuments from the many different civilizations which created it – Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic. When the city was safe to visit, the 8th-century Great Mosque of the Umayyads and the Citadel of Damascus were huge tourist draws. Damascus has been deeply affected by the war, with many of its most important monuments damaged.



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The desert ruins of Palmyra, which combine Greco-Roman, Persian and Arabian architecture, were one of the ancient world’s most valuable cultural centers and renowned for their beauty. Palmyra has faced repeated attacks, but the precious site was extensively damaged during Isis’ occupation in 2015. UNESCO called the destruction of the ruins a “war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity”.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Liverpool, with its historic port and docklands, was one of the world’s major trading centers during the 18th and 19th centuries. Its notable waterfront gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 2004 but proposed development plans saw the property, which covers six areas around the old center and docklands, added to the danger list in 2012. In its latest report, the body said the city risked “systemically excluding heritage concerns and conservation outcomes” over its regeneration plans.



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Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. Widespread poaching, however, has threatened the stability of the game reserve, destroying its wildlife populations. The extent of the poaching is so severe that the number of elephants and rhinoceros has dropped by almost 90% since the reserve was first inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


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