Wars, pollution and expansion of settlements have fatal effect on some of the most famous monuments in the human civilization as well as on the natural beauties that will soon be irrevocably changed. If you want to remember them in the existing condition, you should visit them as soon as possible. However, we must not forget that, in some cases, tourists are the most responsible for the damage.
The palace in the heart of Beijing, where Chinese emperors lived for the full 500 years (from the 1420th to the 1923rd year) was dangerously compromised because of the huge number of visitors. Although it was once forbidden to ordinary mortals, now over seven million tourists passes every year through the home of 24 emperors. However, authorities do not want to limit the visits to the palace as it is mostly visited by the Chinese, who want to get acquainted with their historical heritage. To minimize damage, archaeologists have launched a massive restoration that should last at least another decade.
The rush of tourists seriously jeopardizes one of the most popular Indian symbols, a white marble mausoleum that was built in the 17th century by the fifth ruler of Mughal dynasty in the honor of his wife. Through Taj Mahal annually passes four million visitors, and the monument is being destroyed by the pollution which is created in that process. Although the ticket prices were raised recently, those responsible of the mausoleum are thinking about closing it completely for tourists. Starting in the 1641 building was built for 20 years by 200 000 architects and artists. In the late 19th century Taj Mahal was completely restored by the British colonial government, now it remains is to see what India will do to protect it in the upcoming years.
City of history and legends is endangered by war that has been led on Iraqi soil for years. Unfortunately, also discouraging are the plans of the new Iraqi leaders for a place where 1700 years B.C. stood the largest city in the world. In addition of being destroyed in the war actions, archaeological sites have also been ruined by American soldiers, who took the ancient bricks and other artifacts as a souvenir or even built military facilities on excavations. Archaeological sites of the world’s ancient settlements were partly regulated and protected in the time of Saddam Hussein. Beside a replica of the Babylonian temple we are also reminded of the overthrown dictator by the mural which alongside of his character shows the character of the legendary king Nabukodonosor. The new government, however, the future of Babylon – again, much to the chagrin of archaeologists – sees a theme park with new hotels and shopping malls.
Little Green Street
Although not in central London, this is probably one of the few remaining authentic English streets from the Gregorian era. Unfortunately, because of the good location and proximity to the popular Camden, the experts fear that this 18th century quarter could be ruined forever. Nearby, in fact, is already being planned the construction of new buildings and underground garages. The main problem is that on the way to the site, the trucks and machinery have to pass through the just two and a half meter wide street and there are still no studies that will show what effect will the noise and vibration have on the 220 years old houses.