Every city has an identity of its own which is derived from its heritage, history, culture, language, ethnicity and people; but there are a few which stand out, as they seem to be dipped in colour, so bright and so full of life, it would surely take you on an escapade to a crayon wonderland. We are talking bright blues, soft reds, sunny yellows, serene whites and so much more to satiate the colour palette of our minds! Of course, it’s impossible to limit this multicultural world to just 5 cities, but read on for our picks of colourful cities of the world which celebrate art through the palette.
Let us know if we’ve missed your city!
1. Jodhpur, India
Popularly known as ‘The Blue City’, Jodhpur is the second largest city of Rajasthan and it is a total treat for the eyes! The royal blue can set any person to think of the oceans, a photographer to connect to one of the bright blue chunaris worn by the Rajasthani women, a child to think about the sky and an artist to imagine Prussian blue raining from the heavens to soak this city in its colour. It’s said that Brahmin families began painting their homes blue, a colour that denotes royalty, to distinguish themselves from the masses (before the other residents followed suit). Others suggest that the colour comes from a copper-sulfate-lime wash applied to deter termites.
2. Santorini, Greece
If there is a heaven, it would certainly look like Santorini, a popular beach destination in Greece which attracts an enormous number of tourists all through the year primarily because of its white cityscape. The city of Santorini is in all white bejewelled with blue ceramic tiles on its brickwork façade with traces of wood. The reason for its being dressed in white goes back to the time of the Ottoman empire, that banned the hoisting of the Greek flag, which is blue and white. In defiance and to spark a rebellion, the citizens painted the entire town in pure white. We hope you mark this on your travel bucket list!
Images courtesy of World Visits, Travel Pirates
3. Izamal, Mexico
After starting off our countdown with serene colours like blue and white, here comes a city painted in a bright yellow ochre. Housing remnants of Mayan history, the citizens of Izamal painted their city in a bright sunny shade of yellow to exhibit their feeling of pride. The yellow hue of the architecture is complimented by the cobblestone masonry on the streets, the wooden doors and the huge windows. The soul of the city is just like rock ‘n’ roll, a perfect blend of Mexican and Spanish cultures. Mark the name on your map, you might want to go backpacking to this city of yellow. (We might even know the reason behind the song ‘Yellow‘ by Coldplay, now. Just kidding; but we can guess, can’t we?)
4. Bo Kaap, Cape Town
With a history of Dutch colonisation, Bo Kaap is a South African city which is an exemplary piece of art. It doesn’t have a unique monotone, but instead has the entire spectrum of colours painted on it as if done by an artist. Primarily home to a major Muslim community, the majority of citizens are descendants of Sri Lankans, Indians and Malay communities who were brought over as slaves in the 8th century. The brightly-coloured houses on either side of the street are a recent innovation that celebrates the district’s Muslim identity. In earlier days, all the houses of Cape Town were painted white: the residents of Bo Kaap began painting their houses in vivid colours in preparation for the celebration of Eid.
Images courtesy of Amusing Planet, Pam Golding
5. Jaipur, India
Built with the native pink sandstone of Rajasthan, Jaipur exhibits the soft tone of pinkish red in its jali work, monumental palaces, temples and an entire fabric of history combined with an exquisite royal Mewari culture.
In 1876, the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited India on a tour. Since pink denotes the colour of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the whole city pink to welcome the guests. Since then, Jaipur is known as the ‘the Pink City.’
Images courtesy of OSR Vacation, Fine Art America
Fascinating, isn’t it? We hope that this makes you want to visit these cities and create an array of creative outputs through these artistically inspirational cityscapes, just as much as it made us want to ponder about the unique, vivid character of every one of the colourful cities we wrote about.