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One of the things that makes Greece so achingly beautiful and memorable is the way that they paint many of the buildings in a blinding whitewash, and then accent it with a bright blue. The effect this has en masse is just astonishing. There is a reason for this: the whitewash keeps the buildings cool in the Greek heat, and the blue came about because...drum roll...it was cheap. The Greeks had a blue tinted cleaning agent for clothes, and a couple of these tablets dropped into the limestone plaster coloured the solution blue. Whitewashing was something that was done at least annully, and most households had this cleaner so it became the go-to accent colour. The government eventually caught on that this looked really patriotic (the flag is blue and white), and in 1974, painting the buildings these colours became law.