Chefchaouen – The Blue City
Introduction to Chefchaouen
Set dramatically beneath twin peaked mountains, Chefchaouen or Chaouen is achingly beautiful. It’s fresh, clean, lovingly taken care of and very friendly. Founded in 1471, Chefchaouen was a Moorish fortress for exiles from Spain. Over time, the city grew and welcomed Jews and Christian converts alike.
Its buildings have all been dipped in shades of blue paint as Jewish teachings suggest by adding blue dyed thread to prayer shawls, people would be reminded of the power of God. Here you can watch women and children washing carpets and clothes in public washing units – complete with scrubbing blocks, by the side of the river, before laying them out to dry on the rooftops. There are public ovens and baths and through every other doorway you will see craftsmen hard at work using traditional methods.
Just far enough off the beaten track to discourage most tourists but offering something more authentic to those that seek it; the calm, arty environment is a welcome alternative from a hectic city tour. The steep streets are cobbled and virtually traffic free. Chefchaouen is a holy city of Islam and consequently alcohol is not routinely served but most establishments don’t mind if you request to take your own and are discreet.