Wich cities are blue? They are few in the world but they attract a lot of tourists on trips. Discover the energy and atmosphere given off by the different shades of blue, street photography or simply admire picturesque landscapes… There is always a reason to adopt the color blue in cities, and always a good one to go and visit them!
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📍 Country : India
Jodhpur, also called Blue City or Sun City, is the largest blue city in the world. The colorful houses are in the Old City, all around the gigantic and famous Mehrangarh Fort. Its dilapidated indigo blue-tinted houses make Jodhpur one of the most touristic cities in the state of Rajasthan, in India.
Why is the city of Jodhpur blue?
The district of India’s highest caste, the Brahmins, it said that it distinguished himself by painting its houses in blue when the city of Jodhpur and its fort were built. Another theory often heard is that blue was chosen to keep homes cool during hot weather. Which is also plausible but in this logic, the houses would have been painted the color that reflects as many sunbeam as possible : the white color!
The truth is that the blue was the second available color after discovering its extraction from indigo tree. But this required some cost that not everyone could afford, except the Brahmins. That’s why it’s said that the they were distinguished by the blue. At the present-day, the paint is still expensive so mostly Brahmins can buy it. That’s why Brahmpuri in Jodhpur is still blue.
📍 Country : Egypt
I think I am the only one to mention this small village southwest of Aswan among the blue cities. However, it is worth a visit to have visited it! Nubia and a region inhabited by an ethnic group of the same name shared between the north of the Sudan and the southern Egypt. Gharb Soheil is inhabited by this people. Blue is the color found among a wide range, but it is the dominant. The village on the banks of the Nile is small but absolutely beautiful.
Note that they are many nubian villages in Aswan, and most of them use the blue color on the houses.
Why is the Nubian village of Aswan blue?
Nubians have many beliefs and traditions, these are often reflected on their homes. For example, Nile crocodiles are stuffed and placed on walls to protect homes from the evil eye. As for the colors, the appearance is simply decorative and it is not found anywhere else in Nubia. Tourism in this place has undoubtedly accentuated this trend.
📍 Country : Spain
Júzcar is a small Andalusian municipality located in the province of Malaga. It is one of the few blue cities in Europe.
Why is the village of Júzcar blue?
The color of the blue houses is recent and rather unusual. In fact, the houses were painted only for a set of the Smurfs movie! The people of Júzcar were probably seduced by this new color and it stuck. The number of visitors has since exploded in the town.
📍 Country : Morocco
The blue pearl of the Maghreb as it is called is often a must for travelers who love photography. For good reason, the picturesque aspect of Chefchaouen in Morocco with its indigo blue houses is absolutely sublime, travelers like to come for photograph the streets.
Why is the city of Chefchaouen blue?
A massive influx of Jews fleeing the Nazi regime in the 1930s joined an already existing community in Chefchaouen. Blue is reminiscent of the sky and therefore God among the Jews.
It is an important color in this religion and the devotees use it a lot. As for fabrics, prayer rugs or to paint things. Look for example at the color of the flag of Israel. This blue that also protects against the evil eye was applied in the Jewish Quarter, then spread outside over the years for reasons that are still debated.
📍 Country : Tunisia
Culturally a must-see city to visit during a trip to Tunisia. Indeed Kairouan is the fourth holiest city in Islam. Blue is applied in the streets of the old city, the medina. The atmosphere and serenity that emerges is so soothing, it is one of my favorites travel destinations.
Why is the medina of Kairouan blue?
Nothing is known about the streets painted blue in Kairouan. According to a friend native of the city, this aspect is purely decorative but I nevertheless found a hypothesis by snooping a little. There is one of the most famous works of Islam, the Blue Koran of Kairouan : this one is indigo blue, the same shade that is often used in the streets. I strongly think there’s something to do with that, but I can’t certify it.
📍 Country : Italy
Unlike the other traditionally white municipalities of its region, Puglia, Casamassima stands out with its blue color. The city has an important architectural and religious heritage. The Blue Country, or Paese Azzurro in Italian, is a beautiful place to visit and photograph!
Why is Casamassima blue?
An epidemic of the Black Death occurred in Casamassima in the XI century. The Duke of that time decided to have all important monuments and buildings coated with blue paint with copper sulphate on quicklime. This idea was a success since the plague was eradicated in the blue country. Then the tradition continued!
📍 Country : Uzbekistan
Samarkand in English, is an Uzbek city classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on the Silk Road and was once one of its largest cities. Its many occupations have made this place an important religious center of great diversity. A beautiful city with a rich history and exciting culture.
Why is Samarkand blue?
To be more precise, it is the many mosques decorated with its earthenware that are blue. The domes of the same religious buildings are also blue, often of a striking turquoise. This was used, among other things, to indicate to Muslim travelers the presence of mosques in the distance. The same looks are found in Istanbul (Turkey) or Isfahan (Iran).
📍 Country : Greece
The sublime island of Santorini is very popular with travelers. Many influencers share this very photogenic destination on the networks, which creates a trend and mass tourism. The “Instagram city” par excellence. This mania of networks to highlight only the visual aspects is annoying, since the island also has an interesting history.
In particular, multiple seizures of power and attacks it has suffered, destruction due to volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. All its events have made this pearl of the Aegean Sea what it is today. Santorini also has notable archaeological sites.
Why is the island of Santorini blue and white?
First of all, Santorini was painted with white lime according to 2 hypotheses. The first being due to the construction of the houses with the volcanic rock of the island, the dwellings suffered because of the absorption of heat. This seems implausible to me since this material is an excellent insulator.
The second would have been with the aim of eradicating a cholera epidemic. For azure blue it is clearer: The military dictatorship was established in 1967 and lasted until 1974, during which time all monuments had to be colored with the effigy of the regime and therefore of the country (🇬🇷) including blue, on important monuments such as the dome of churches for example. This aspect is purely decorative today.
📍 Country : India
India’s hidden blue nugget! Really, we often talk about blue cities but never about Bundi on internet. In plain and concise, it is Jodhpur in miniature. The city is overlooked by a hill where stands a large fort (Taragarh) and blue houses all around. All tourists (myself included!) rush to Jodhpur, not thinking that Bundi is very similar but off the beaten track and quieter. Only 100,000 inhabitants live there against 1.1 million, or 10 times less!
Why is the city of Bundi blue?
Blue was used only for esthetic purpose and because it was one of the few avalaible colours at the time, extracts from indigo plant, wich is pretty common in India.
Sidi Bou Saïd
📍 Country : Tunisia
Sidi Bou Said is a city located a few steps from Carthage and its famous archaeological site, 17 km from the capital. It must be admitted that Sidi, raised above the Gulf of Tunis, has many airs of resemblance to Santorini by its appearance but excluding mass tourism! The reason for the choice of its colors, however, is different.
Why is the city of Sidi Bou Said blue?
A French painter and musicologist came to settle in Sidi in the early XXth century Baron Rodolphe d’Erlanger. The home of this one stood out with its blue and white colors. They were then adopted by the inhabitants over time.
Indargarh is a completely off the beaten track city that I discovered while I was touring Rajasthan off the tourist classic path. A surprise when I seen that de area on the bottom of the fort was blue.
Why Indargarh is blue?
Indargarh is blue for the same reason as Bundi and Jodhpur!
Have you also discovered a
Blue City while traveling
and wich is not in this list?
Tell us in the comment area!