A view of one of the many blue-painted streets in Chefchaouen, Morocco.
Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.