Chefchaouen nicknamed “the blue pearl of Morocco” is a small Moroccan village, surrounded by the Rif mountains, located in the north of Morocco. It is a place very talked-about that has the peculiarity of being painted entirely blue. This is why it attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year and is even considered to be the city of Instagram!
Located between Fez and Tangier, Chefchaouen has become a must for all tourists who come to Morocco. And it is true that you won’t be able to see a place like that anywhere, that is why Chefchaouen is so unique and is even ranked among the most beautiful cities in the world.
In order to preserve its reputation and this small peculiarity which made its fame, the village is painted blue three times a year. It is moreover the women of the village who repaint the houses of Chefchouen. Just as they were the ones who initiated the project several years ago.
No one has only one explanation of why the color blue was chosen. They are many explanations…
Here are below all the complete reasons and explanation on why the city of Chefchaouen in Morocco is completely blue:
Some religious belief
To understand the origin of the blue color of Chaouen, we have to delve into its history. The city was founded in the 15th century by the sheriff Ali ibn Rashid al-Alami, and was one of the sultan’s bastions in his resistance to the Spanish and Portuguese invasions. It was later inhabited by a population composed mainly of Andalusians and later by Moriscos who were chased from Andalusia. For a long time it was forbidden to Christians on pain of death, but not to Jews. The Sephardic Jews, who found refuge in Chefchaouen, painted their houses blue but also their fabrics, and especially prayer rugs. It is the representative color of the sky and the sea created by God in Judaism. This tradition has since been taken up by the inhabitants of the locality, Jews and non-Jews alike.
Not only it evokes spirituality for Jews but also for Muslims, wherein the Islamic culture, happiness, and optimism are represented by the color blue.
As mentioned above, there is not only one fixed explanation. Some say that because this color has the particularity of absorbing the sun’s rays and the mixture of lime and copper sulphate in the paint, it has the property of keeping mosquitoes and termites away. Usually, in Greece, for example, many villages also insist on the color azure, but alternately with white. In Chefchaouen, blue is blue! From floor to ceiling. At least outdoors. Only, Jodhpur in India can fight for “blue’s supremacy”, but obviously, tourists prefer to come to Chefchaouen, especially the Chinese.
Others also think that it is simply the blue tints that repel mosquitoes. Their explanation is that, since they don’t like being in the water and that the walls almost look like water, it repels them. This explanation is based on the fact that a few years ago the Jewish part of the city have fewer mosquitoes and so they decided to paint their houses blue
Anyway, whatever is true, it’s certainly a fact that there are hardly any mosquitoes in Chefchaouen.
Some locals say that the walls of the Chefchaouen were painted in several shades of blue, recalling the intense blue of the Mediterranean. Others believe that the shades of blue represent the Ras El Maa Falls, from which some residents get their drinking water.
Other people also believe that the walls have been painted blue to remind them at all times that the water enables them to survive in an environment that is otherwise hostile.
A natural coolness
Some think that the heat is the reason why the walls are painted blue. They say that shades of blue keep their homes cool during the hottest months of the year. It may not be the primary cause, but it is certainly valid and significant in today’s world.
Eye appealing and so attractive for tourists
Few people think that the city is blue because it simply looks good and according to Islamic culture, happiness and optimism are represented by the color blue like said above. Most of the doors of the houses and shops of this magnificent place are decorated in blue tones in order to harmonize the environment. The neighbors usually hang colored pots with plants on the facades of their houses, which produce a rich contrast with the blue color of the same, thus achieving a unique optical effect.
It seems that the color of the city has been maintained to attract tourists. Morocco also needs to thank deeply Instagram because of that.
In recent years, Chefchaouen has become very popular with tourists. Its picturesque beauty and unique shades of blue have made it one of the most fashionable places. The beautiful photo rendering makes it a highly “instagrammable” destination. The city reaps the benefits of this visibility, welcoming more and more curious people who come to see the “Blue Pearl”. This success has allowed it to take the upper hand over other world tourist destinations.
If Chefchaouen fascinates travelers so much, it is because it is much more than just a postcard. It has also attractions to offer. Its authentic Medina, its Kasbah and its Great Mosque with its octagonal minaret standing in the middle of the “Outa el Hammam” square are part of its rich heritage. The abandoned Spanish Mosque, which stands on top of a hill a few steps from the source of Ras El Ma, offers a breathtaking view of the city. Hikers will also be delighted. The Akchur waterfalls or the Pont de Dieu (natural arch in the rock) are also worth a visit.