The Story Behind : Why The City of Chefchaouen in Morocco is Entirely Blue?
The city of Chefchaouen, located in the Rif Mountains of Morocco, is a vibrant blue gem in the country’s tourist scene. With its picturesque buildings and narrow, winding streets, Chefchaouen has become a must-visit destination for travelers. The city’s unique blue hue has become its trademark, making it one of the most Instagram-worthy places in Morocco. But the story behind why the city is entirely blue is a fascinating one.
Brief History of Chefchaouen Chefchaouen was founded in the late 15th century by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa, who was seeking refuge from the Spanish invasion. The city became a safe haven for the indigenous Berber people, who were displaced by the Spanish conquest. Chefchaouen became a hub for trade and commerce, attracting merchants and artisans from all over the region. Over time, the city developed its own distinct culture and traditions, which are still reflected in its architecture, food, and traditions today.
Reasons Suggested for the Blue Hues There are several beliefs as to why the city’s walls were painted blue. They include:
⦁ To Follow Jewish Custom and Culture:
One of the most popular theories is that Chefchaouen was once a Jewish city, and the blue color was used to symbolize the Jewish belief in the protection provided by the heavens.
⦁ To Keep Mosquitoes Away:
Some say that the blue color was used to repel mosquitoes, as they are attracted to darker colors.
⦁ To Keep Cool:
The bright blue hue of the buildings is said to reflect the heat and keep the city cooler, which is important in the warm Moroccan climate.
⦁ To Represent the Color of Water:
Chefchaouen is located near several streams and water sources, and the blue color is said to represent the color of water.
⦁ To Look Nice, Soothe and Blend In:
The blue color is also said to soothe the eyes and blend in with the surrounding landscape.
⦁ To Attract Tourists:
Finally, it is suggested that the blue color was used to attract tourists, as the city has become a popular destination for its stunning scenery and unique cultural heritage.
How to Get to Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is located in the Rif Mountains of Morocco, about two hours from the city of Tangier. The easiest way to reach Chefchaouen is by car or taxi, although there are also buses and trains available from other cities in Morocco.
When to Visit Chefchaouen ?
The best time to visit Chefchaouen is during the spring and fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer can be hot and crowded, while winter can be cold and wet.
Best Things to Do in Chefchaouen
While Chefchaouen is a small city, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Some of the best things to do in Chefchaouen include:
⦁ Explore the Blue Streets: The blue-painted buildings and streets are the city’s biggest attraction. Take a stroll through the winding streets and admire the stunning blue hues.
⦁ Visit the Kasbah: The Kasbah is a fortification that dates back to the 15th century. Today, it houses a museum and cultural center, where visitors can learn about the history and culture of Chefchaouen.
⦁ Shop at the Souks: The city’s souks (markets) are a great place to pick up souvenirs, handmade goods, and local crafts.
⦁ Hike in the Rif Mountains: Chefchaouen is surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes, making it a great place for outdoor activities like hiking and trekking.
⦁ Visit the Spanish Mosque: The Spanish Mosque is a beautiful mosque located in the heart of Chefchaouen. It was built by Spanish refugees who sought refuge in Chefchaouen from the Spanish conquest.
⦁ Try the Local Cuisine: Chefchaouen is famous for its delicious local cuisine, which features fresh ingredients and bold spices. Be sure to try dishes like tajine, couscous, and mint tea.
In conclusion, Chefchaouen is a charming and unique city that is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Morocco. Its vibrant blue hue, rich history, and stunning mountain scenery make it one of the most memorable and photogenic destinations in the country. So, whether you’re a traveler looking to explore new destinations or a photographer looking for the perfect shot, Chefchaouen should definitely be on your list.