Chefchaouen (pronounced “shafshawan”) has a population of nearly 36,000 people and sits in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco. Founded in 1471 as a fortress, the city has been home to many different cultures over the centuries, particularly Spanish and Jewish settlers. Now for the question likely on your mind after glimpsing the photo gallery below: Why is the city blue?

Being that Chefchaouen has deeply religious roots, the choice was originally grounded in spiritual practices more than stylistic ones. Jewish teachings suggested that dyeing fabrics and painting the walls and structures blue would remind its inhabitants of God’s power.

In modern times, Chefchaouen lends itself to a more religiously diverse population, but the omnipresent shades of blue remain as both unique cultural element and a local tradition. Scroll on for a virtual of this enchanting locale via the Shutterstock photo collection.

John Copland
John Copland
danm12
danm12
danm12
danm12
Pablo Mendez Rodriguez
Pablo Mendez Rodriguez
M R
M R
Pablo Mendez Rodriguez
Pablo Mendez Rodriguez
danm12
danm12
danm12
danm12
Zzvet
Zzvet

Explore more of Morocco’s blue city with our curated Chefchaouen lightbox »

Top image: Architectural detail in Chefchaouen by Mikadun

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