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Chefchaouen - the blue city of Morocco 💙

Updated: Oct 9, 2022

Chefchaouen is certainly one of the jewels of Morocco. We will immerse ourselves in the maze of the bluish alleyways. On the walls, on the doors, under the arches, bright, pale, electric, celestial, faded blues mingle... A treat for the eyes.


Fastastically beautiful Moroccan courtyard in Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen in the sunset, the Blue city of Morocco

If the city doesn't really have any monuments in particular, it's mostly to let yourself wander along the blue alleys of the medina that we come here. It is undoubtedly one of the most surprising medinas in the world. To the blue of the facades is also added arches in the Andalusian style in this city formerly under the Spanish influence which climbs from staircase to staircase.


Amazing street architecture in medina (old town), Chefchaouen (Morocco)

The Reasons Why The City of Chefchaouen in Morocco is Entirely Blue:


1. The Jews


The color blue is representative of the sky according to Jewish belief. Jewish communities, therefore paint things blue and use blue-colored fabrics, especially prayer mats.


People believe that the Jewish refugees spread the blue fever to the entire ‘medina’ in 1930. The practice of painting walls blue was introduced by the Jews to stick to their religious practices. However, older residents say that the majority of the buildings within the medina used to be white until fairly recently. They stress that only the Jewish part of the medina used to be painted blue.


2. The Mosquitoes


A part of the residents believes that the blue shades repel mosquitoes. Their reasoning is that the insects do not like being in the water, although they live near the water. The blue walls almost look like flowing water, and they believe that this aspect keeps away the mosquitoes.


It is certainly possible that residents saw fewer mosquitoes in the Jewish part of the town, and so they decided to attribute it to the color and paint their houses blue as well.


3. The Heat


Another group of locals states the heat to be a reason for the color. They say that the shades of blue keep their houses cool in warmer months. While this might not have been the original reason, it is a perfectly valid one in these modern times.


4. The Water


According to a few locals, Chefchaouen’s walls are bathed in multiple shades of blue reminiscent of the striking blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Others believe that the blues represent the Ras el-Maa Waterfall. The citizens of the town get their drinking water from this waterfall.


The locals believe that the painting was done to always remind them that life-sustaining water allows them to survive in an otherwise hostile environment.


5. Aesthetic Appeal


Few locals believe that the city is blue because it looks good. According to the Islamic culture, happiness and optimism are represented by the color blue.


6. Tourism


While tourists may be visiting this old town for other reasons, it is probably the outstanding color of its walls and the staggered narrow alleyways that keep them coming. It is clear, now, that whatever the original reason for painting the city in blue, there is still a lot of benefit from continuing to paint it that way. The 50 shades of blue have made the streets of Chefchaouen a photographer’s heaven.


Beautiful view square in blue city Chefchaouen, Morocco

At the time, the walls were not blue but green, the favourite shade of Mohammed and the sacred colour of Islam. As for the blue colour, it is said to have emerged in the Jewish quarter before becoming more widely spread over all the walls of the city. Some claim that it is for aesthetic reasons, others, more prosaic, explain that mosquitoes have a "blue fear of this colour". In any case, it is almost impossible to cross the city without coming across an inhabitant repainting his house or shop.


The Blue village of berber was settled in the Rif Mountains of northwest Morocco

You will be surprised by the inhabitants greeting you in Spanish. Unlike most of Morocco, which was occupied by colonizing France, this region in the north was dominated by the Spanish between 1920 and 1956.


Five centuries before, Chefchaouen was founded by Muslims and Andalusian Jews fleeing persecution. So many religious buildings were built that the small mountain village was elevated to the status of a holy town.


You will be seduced by the charming details of this city, as you wander through the narrow streets: flower pots hanging on the walls, cats, children playing, pretty doors...


Please learn more about our upcoming trips here . Join us to Morocco trip to explore this spectacular city and much more :)


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