When we think of colorful Indian cities, our minds go to Rajasthan that has cities with houses painted in blue and pink. Take a panoramic shot and all you will find is a wave of a dominating color palate across the city. The conscious decision to do so lends a beautiful color to the cityscape and makes it perfect for an Instagram photo. However, cities painted in colorful hues is not just a trend restricted to India, there are several cities around the world that are colorful thanks to the government, monarchy and even Hollywood. Whatever be the reason, the end result is certainly a happy hue waiting to be captured on our camera. If you too want to add some color to your life, visit these cities that are vibrant and wonderful.
1. Jodhpur, India
A hue of blue sweeps the city of Jodhpur that has all the houses painted in this color. What started as a tradition by the upper-caste Brahmins in the community to distinguish their houses from the rest of the people soon was implemented by every house in the city. This gave Jodhpur a unique personality with a touch of royal blue covering the city. People have reasoned that the choice of the color blue was because it kept the surrounding cool when the sun shone in full blaze. It was also because the chemicals present in this hue could keep termites at bay. Whatever be the reason, we are glad this happened.
2. Jaipur, India
Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Another city from the state of Rajasthan that stands out for its color is Jaipur. Called the Pink City you will find houses and monuments here painted in a hue of ochre rather than pink. The story goes back to the British era when the local leader dyed the city to this hue for the welcome of Prince of Whales Edward. Unable to identify the color as ochre, the city was called pink henceforth and an order was given to paint everything in the same color. Even today, most of the city is ochre in color but due to the tag, it is still known as the pink city.
3. Juzcar, Spain
While other colorful cities in the world may have got orders from the government to paint the houses a certain color, Juzcar in Spain had an altogether different reason, Hollywood. The makers of the movie The Smurfs, urged the enclave to paint their houses blue in color which is what the characters of the movie are. This was in 2011 to promote the movie. They obliged and soon looked alike in a striking blue color. Once the film promotions were over, the makers asked them if they wanted to go back to the original color however the residents were used to this new streak of color and had even begun tourism around it that they just stuck to it.
4. Trinidad, Cuba
The colorful buildings in Trinidad especially in the province of Sancti Spiritus are a blend of colors that depict nature. The blue of the ocean, the green of the leaves and the yellow of sunshine. At times you will find all three colors on the same house itself. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and people come to see the colorful streets here.
5. La Boca, Argentina
A dash of color greets you as you enter the streets of La Boca. The area is known for the colorful houses that are not in any particular order and there is a reason for this too. Apparently, the houses here were made from scraps of the local shipyard and then painted with the leftover paint so they did not have any particular color scheme in mind when they did so. However, the end result looks bright and colorful making it a happy accident.
6. Willemstad, Curacao
Colorful buildings on this Caribbean island is a result of an interesting story that dates back to the 1800s. According to the tale, it was believed that the color white caused intense migraine to the then-governor. In order to get rid of his headaches, he passed a decree that houses should be painted any other color than white. And today, the Dutch colony is well-preserved and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7. Burano, Italy
This Venetian island is a land of cheerfulness as you see the colorful houses from the sea. The reason for doing so is also related to this story about fishermen unable to locate their homes on their way back due to intense fog. In order to prevent this, they started painting their houses in different hues. Soon, this became the law too and if you are a resident in Burano, you need to take permission from the government who will then assign a color to you and you paint your house only that color.
8. Bo-Kaap, South Africa
The bright buildings in this part of Cape Town stand out from the rest of the city. Bo-Kaap region was once a home to slaves from Malaysia but today it paints a different picture thanks to these vibrant hues. The houses are a celebration of life, happiness, culture and all things vibrant that bring a smile to one’s place. And surely, a visit here will make you smile with these colorful homes in the background.
9. St John’s, Canada
One of the best parts of St John’s in Newfoundland, Canada is the row of colorful homes that are fondly called jellybean houses for the splash of color they bring to the otherwise gray skies here. The houses stand out particularly in winter when the sky looks gloomy. There isn’t any particular reason for the houses to be painted in these robust colors now but the tradition began in the 1700s when it was done to cheer up a declining urban center.
10. Valparaiso, Chile
A visit here and you will be blown away by the mismatched, colorful houses and buildings next to a seaport that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Valparaiso in Chile has street artists that show their artwork by painting houses and streets in a colorful way. They certainly look like open galleries and make for a picture-perfect backdrop.