Blue—we ooh and aah at the sight of tropical waters and appreciate a clear sky on a brisk, autumn morning. There is a profusion of examples that reflect the effect this popular color has on our world, yet one Moroccan city has taken it to another and most impressive level: Chefchaouen.
Snug in a valley amid the Rif Mountains in northern Morocco, Chefchaouen’s buildings exude an intoxicating hue of powdery blue.
Founded by Moulay Ali ben Rachid in 1471, the city grew in the late 1400s with the arrival of Moors and Jews upon their flight from persecution during the era of the Spanish Reconquista and the subsequent Inquisition. They also brought with them the quintessential architectural influences from their former homeland in southern Spain, constructing white-washed buildings with tiled roofs, small balconies and inner courtyards.
The addition of the cool tones seen today, however, dates to the 1930s, with the purpose of expressing the symbolism of the color in Judaism—the sea, the sky and the divine. From flower pots to front doors, the heart of the medina simply drips in blue. Although many of Chefchaouen’s Jews left for Israel in the late 1940s, the tradition of administering the blueish wash to the buildings still continues.
Morocco is a wonderful country to discover, and Chefchaouen is just one illustration of its amazing places with a uniqueness that will forever leave an unforgettable impression.
Andrew Marcione is a contributing writer and the editor-in-chief at Uncharted 101. He fashions his passions for writing and traveling into articles that fellow travelers can appreciate and enjoy. Along with a fascination for languages, Andrew also works as a freelance translator in Berlin. You can visit his website at: www.translationsintourism.com.