Chefchaouen: The Blue City

Chefchaouen, known by a number of nicknames, such as the “Heaven of the Hillside” and “The Blue Pearl,” is a city located in northwest Morocco founded in 1471. Situated within the Rif Mountains, the blue buildings of Chefchaouen are distinct with a much-debated history. Some argue that the color and tradition may be from the Judaic faith and represent the divinity, sky and sea, while others theorize that it was painted this color to keep mosquitoes away, as the streets look like running water. Alternatively, the color may just represent tranquility. While the city has grown since the 1400s, Chefchaouen’s Old City maintains this blue tradition and touchups are done each spring with brushes provided by the local government.