God is a painter, and he has wielded his brush masterfully. Don’t believe us? These vividly colorful cities around the world justify the statement aptly because they look like they’re born out of a mad frenzy of masterful brush strokes. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Havana, Cuba:
As rich in culture as it is colored, Havana in Cuba is a pack of surprises you can’t help but open. The vibe of this place is other-worldly, resembling none but its own. The jazz, old men playing chess on the sidewalks, vintage cars, and the pastel-colored colonial buildings gave birth to a distinct Cuban architecture that give off a cool, nostalgic aura to this city that moves at its own pace.
2. Chefchaouen, Morocco:
That may have taken us a bit to pronounce but the city’s eclectic blue streets will take no longer than a glance to make you go “Oh my God!” The Rif Mountains present a contradiction in terms of the landscape when pitted against Chefchaouen. This city, which dates back to the 15th century, welcomed Israeli refugees to Spain who continued with their tradition of painting their houses blue to reflect the colour of the sky, in remembrance of God. The streets, mosques and government buildings are all a swash of blue and we can’t seem to get enough of it! No wonder this riot of powder blue, cyan, and periwinkle colours is called the ‘Blue City’.
3. Sintra, Portugal:
Sitting like a cherry on the top of a well-decorated cake, the bright yellow coloured Pena Palace is the highlight of this soothing, radiant city. As if that wasn’t enough reason to go gaga over this picturesque place, it is also studded with castle ruins, manicured gardens, and deserted beaches. The Quinta de Regaleira, the majestic Castle of the Moors, and Cabo da Roca are some of the many striking places that Sintra boasts of.
4. Jodhpur, India:
Jodhpur is, in a sense, our very own Chefchaouhen, in that it is not only ‘The Blue City’ by name but also exemplifies it in its dominant colour and character. These blue-washed houses are all under the imposing Mehrengarh fort, enclosed in a circular border. Although the Indigo pigment carries a casteist connotation (the houses were coloured blue by the Brahmins to differentiate them from the lower castes), it makes for a striking picture when seen at night or from a height during the day.
5. Rainbow Village, Taiwan:
Exemplifying the fact that art can outdo destruction, the former military residential area is now famously known as the Rainbow Village, thanks to the efforts of Huang-Yung Fu who took it on himself to transform this concrete, monotonous neighbourhood to stop it from being brought down from re-development by making it a hub for arts and graffiti on the walls of the buildings. Now, this small village in Taichung, Taiwan has become a popular tourist attraction.
6. Bo Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa:
The vivid colours of the buildings in Bo-Kaap speak of more than just its gorgeous Georgian and Dutch mixture of architecture. It is a bold statement of the freedom of Cape Malays from enslavement who were brought to Cape Town during the 1760s. The museum in Bo-Kaap, which remains the oldest building, is the obedient keeper of its rich history.
7. Curacao, Caribbean:
Visiting the Lesser Antilles isn’t the most conventional travel itinerary that people have. With places like Curacao, why not? It is only one of the many such pastel-coloured oases, which grace the Caribbean. But, it is Curacao’s history that will amuse you – it is said that in the 19th Century, Dutch governor-general Albert Kikkert passed an order to colour the buildings of Curacao anything but white as it triggered migraine headaches. And, we all know that the reflection of the signature bright Caribbean sun on the white-washed buildings cannot be favorable for a migraine victim. So, since then, buildings have been continued to be coloured in pastel hues with white borders.