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World's Most Endangered Sites

World's most endangered sites: Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens, Pakistan

UNESCO/ Hattori, Eiji

Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens, Pakistan

Lahore Fort’s 11th-century walls festooned with blue kashi tiles, red sandstone, zoomorphic corbels, and inlays of precious materials are a source of great national pride. The exquisite Moghul engineering and landscaping at the 17th-century Shalimar Gardens, four miles away, stretches over a three-level terrace that counts 410 fountains, royal baths, marble basins, and pools and canals shaded by almond and quince trees. In 1999, a municipal agency accidently destroyed two historic water tanks during the widening of Grand Trunk Road, an effort to create better access between the two. “As sites become popular, visitation must be managed sustainably and effectively,” reminds UNESCO World Heritage Director Kishore Rao. “That’s the whole challenge.” —Adam H. Graham

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