Morocco’s Blue City

For almost 500 years, Chefchaouen, a city in the folds of the Rif Mountains, was isolated from the rest of the world. Its streets are covered in a spectrum of blue shades, so its charm is almost magical. The city was founded in 1471 for Moroccans to fight off invading Portuguese who were occupying the coastal areas. Then, Chefchaouen became a refuge for Jewish and Muslim minorities fleeing Europe. It was isolated from the constant shifts of power in Morocco until the early 20th century when the walled city was captured by Spain, and its streets became open to the world. In the late 15th century, many Jews and Muslims fled across the Strait of Gibraltar to avoid having to convert to Christianity. Once the Sephardi Jews found home, they painted every building in the old city in cool shades of blue. At the time, the city barred Christians from entering, so for centuries it has remained in its cool blue shades. Now, the city is a perfect destination for explorers. Winding alleys juxtaposed with the tan and green landscape make the blue pop in an unusually picturesque manner. The city is surrounded by marijuana plantations that supply kif to the area which sits between two huge mountains. “Chefchaouen” translates to “watch the horns” in the Berber language. Read more about this amazing place at The Daily Beast.

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