Chefchaouen/ Chaouen (the blue city)
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Chefchaouen, commonly known as Chaouen, is a scenic village in the Rif Mountains in northern Morocco. It is known for its magnificent, blue-whitewashed buildings of its old medina and lovely atmosphere. The name of the city is derived from Echchaouen which means in the dialect of the Rif as Horns.

Here are some notable facts about Chefchaouen:

  • Chefchaouen is located in the Rif Mountains, approximately 110 kilometres southeast of Tangier and 250 km north of Fez.

  • Chefchaouen was established in 1471 by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa El Alami as a modest stronghold to guard against Portuguese invasions.

  • The city has a rich history shaped by numerous civilizations, including Berber, and Andalusian. Following the late-15th-century Reconquest, many Jewish and Muslim immigrants from Spain settled here.

  • Chefchaouen is known as the “Blue City” because of its striking, blue-painted architecture. The habit of painting buildings blue is thought to have originated with Jewish refugees in the 1930s.

  • The color blue is thought to represent the sky and firmament, and it serves as a reminder to live a spiritual life. It is also known to help repel mosquitoes.

Here are some sights you shouldn’t mess with while you are visiting the city:

The old Medina: The old town, or medina, is a maze of narrow, winding streets filled with quaint stores, cafes, and traditional Moroccan houses. It is a popular place to explore on foot.

The old Kasbah: Located in the medina, the Kasbah is a restored fortress and museum that offers a glimpse into the history of the city and offers panoramic views from its gardens and towers.

The Ras El Maa: A beautiful waterfall on the edge of the medina, where locals and tourists gather to enjoy the refreshing water and panoramic views.

Akchour Waterfalls Park: A short drive from Chefchaouen, Akchour is known for its stunning natural beauty, including waterfalls and hiking trails.