Morocco-Chefchaouen, the fluorescent medina
106 images Created 3 Dec 2014
A waterfall of white and blue buildings enclosed between two mountains. Chefchaouen, or Chaouen, is a holy city a bit surly with a blue medina that seems an Orientalist painting still populated of veiled women and men hidden by their djellabas, white in summer and brown in winter. An Arab city of the sixteenth century arrived virtually intact up to us where the traditional Moroccan architecture blends with traces of Andalusia and a blue unusual for an Islamic country, where generally dominates the green. It is the legacy of the Jews fled after the conquest of Granada and the arrival of Reyes Catolicos with Inquisition in tow. With them had arrived too numerous Moriscos, Muslims originating in Al Andalus. Chaouen El-Madina Es-Saliha, the Holy City, remained a forbidden city to Christians until 1920, and only thanks to a disguise as rabbi the French explorer Charles de Foucauld visited Chaouen in 1883. An isolation that has saved the soul of this Arab Andalusian city of merchants and weavers who in 2010 was entered in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The Medina, the old city, speaks with its blue walls. Especially in the two oldest neighborhoods of Andalous and Ansar who remember the Albaicin neighborhood next to the Alhambra in Granada where many Moriscos lived. From Outa-El-Hammam, the main square, a range of narrow and inextricable streets spreads out like snakes stone between Arab-Andalusian buildings covered by the ubiquitous blue loved by painters like Matisse. A Chaouen even thoughts of those who live there are blue. Streets, squares, carpets and stairs near to the sky become an uncertain border between the street and the intimacy of the houses. Borders made by blue, because the alleys where even the paving stones are total blue indicates a dead end, or an open door on glimpses of a family life.