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Facts about Andorra

What is Andorra?
The principality of Andorra (or the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra) is a parliamentary democracy with two coprinces :
the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell, in Catalonia, Spain. This makes it a constitutional dyarchy.

What type of government does Andorra have?
Andorra’s political system has its origins in the time when the region was invaded by the Moors. Andorra served as a buffer between the Moors and France, until Charlemagne gave the region to Urgell nobility, in what is now Catalonia Spain. Andorra then became ruled by the Urgell Diocese. In the eleventh century, Andorra needed military protection and turned to Lord Caboet to create a partnership. This was the start of the shared ruling of the region. Conflicts arose, leading to an agreement in 1278 that stated the French head of state, Count of Foix and the Bishop of Urgell would share sovereignty, officially forming Andorra. A 1607 edict by King Henry IV of France declared that the head of the French state and the Bishop of Urgell would be coprinces of Andorra.

Since March 1993, Andorra ha been a parliamentary democracy, but retaining its heads of state. It was then allowed to join the United Nations, but is still not a member of the European Union. Its defense continues to be a shared responsibility of France of Spain.

What is the capital of Andorrra?
Andorra la Vella is the capital of Andorra, the highest capital in Europe, sitting 1023 meters above sea level.

Where is Andorra located?
Andorra is located in the Pyrenees mountains, between Spain and France, in Europe.

How big is Andorra?
Andorra has an area of 468 square miles.

What is the population of Andorra?
Andorra’s population is about 84,000. Andorra’s population has the fourth highest life expectancy in the world.

What are the ethnic groups living in Andorra?
Spanish, followed by Andorran, Portuguese, and French are the main ethnic groups in the nation.

What religions are practiced in Andorra?
Andorra is an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation, with about 90% of the population practicing.

What languages are spoken in Andorra?
Andorra’s official language is Catalan. Other languages spoken in Andorra are French, Castilian (Spanish), and Portuguese. English is not widely spoken in Andorra, except in tourist areas.

How is Andorra divided?
Andorra is divided into seven parishes, called parroquies:
  • Andorra la Vella
  • Canillo
  • Encamp
  • Escaldes-Engordany
  • La Massana
  • Ordino
  • Sant Julia de Loria
When is Andorra’s national holiday?
Andorra celebrates Our Lady of Meritxell Day on September 8, which honors the Patron Saint of Andorra.

Who are Andorra’s political leaders?

French Coprince Nicolas Sarkozy, who is represented in Andorra by Christian Fremont

Spanish Coprince Archbishop Joan-Enric Vives Sicilia, represented by Nemesi Marques Oste

Prime Minister:

Antoni Marti

What is the climate of Andorra like?
The climate of Andorra is predominately cool and mountainous. Snow fall is a common phenomenon in winter and the summer is generally cool and pleasant.

What are the important cities of Andorra?
Important cities of Andorra are Andorra La Vella, the capital city, Canillo, Encamp, La Massana, Les Escalde, Ordino and Sant Jullia de Lorria. These cities also major cities of the seven parishes and are important tourist destinations.

What are the prominent festivals of Andorra?
Most of the prominent festivals of Andorra are religious festivals. Christmas, St. George’s day, Easter, St. Lucia Fair, and St. John’s Day are celebrated in the country. On St. George Day books and roses are gifted to friends and family. In the St. Lucia fair typical Christmas goods are sold in the markets. On St. John’s Day bonfires are made in every city. This day also marks the beginning of summer solstice. In Andorra many festivals are related to art and music as well, like the ‘Festival of Classic Music, which is held every September and International Jazz Festival organized every July. Several dance and music exhibitions are held between November and May every year.

What are the main features of Andorra’s economy?
Andorra’s biggest industry is tourism, with its tax haven status and ski resorts in the Pyrenees Mountains. Other large industries in Andorra are finance and agriculture, especially raising sheep.

What form of currency is used in Andorra?
The euro is the currency used in Andorra, even though the nation is not a member of the European Union.

Last Updated on 07 March 2014

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