Best and Worst World Landmarks Rated

Photos: Best and Worst World Heritage Site Destinations
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BOTTOM FIVE WORLD HERITAGE SITES

34 (tie). Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet, China


Former home of both the Tibetan national government and the Dalai Lama—and with more than a thousand rooms, there was space enough for all—the 5-square-mile (13-square-kilometer) Potala ("pure land") dates back to the 17th century but includes remnants of the original, seventh-century Potala.

Despite its religious and architectural significance, Traveler says, the area has seen its "spirit of place" crushed by a Chinese government bent on erasing the Tibetan culture. Here, pilgrims and religious articles have been replaced with tourists and tacky souvenirs. (See a China map.)

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