Chefchaouen founded in 1471 by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami, Chefchaouen served as a Moorish fortress for exiles from Spain. Over the
centuries, the city grew and welcomed Jews and Christian converts alike.
Chefchaouen’s powder-blue buildings mirror the cloudless Moroccan sky, but religious rather than stylistic reasons are behind the design choice.
Jewish teachings suggest that by dyeing thread with tekhelel (an ancient natural dye) and weaving it into prayer shawls, people would be reminded of God’s power.
The memory of this tradition lives on in the regularly repainted blue buildings.
Nowadays Chefchaouen is a rich cultural tapestry of Berber tribespeople, Muslims and Jews, along with descendants of the Moorish exiles from Spain who lived there in the 1400s.
Berber tribespeople can be seen wearing distinctive cotton clothing paired with woven hats, which are decorated
with brightly colored threads.