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Andorra: an ancient principality in the Pyrenees

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Andorra (Principat d’Andorra-Principauté d’Andorre) is a small principality situated in the Pyrenees, formally under the joint sovereignty of France and the Bishop of Urgel (Spain). The tiny principality of Andorra has developed and preserved its isolation thanks to its geographical situation for a long time.


The Principality of Andorra is located in the eastern Pyrenees mountain range in an area rich in forests and crossed by the valley of the river Valira. The border pass Envalira, which is located at an altitude of 2,409 meters, separates it from France. Most of the landscape of  the country has been shaped by glaciers.

The watershed of the Pyrenees separates France from Andorra. The mountains reach considerable heights up to nearly three thousand meters. The Coma Pedrosa (2,943 meters), a mountain located in the northwest of the country near the border with Spain and France, is the highest mountain in the country.

The country is now a duty-free area and an important summer and winter resort. This peculiarity contributed to an important development of tourism. It accounts for about 80% of the country’s gross domestic product of the country. This country is a greatly appreciated tax haven.

The territory where today stands the principality was submitted to the government of the Bishop of Urgell since the tenth century. The Principality of Andorra is a state that has ancient origins, it was established in the thirteenth century, as a state entity whose sovereignty was divided between the Bishop of Urgell and the Count of Foix. In the following centuries the Count of Foix was replaced by the King of France.

The climate of Andorra.

English text correction by Dietrich Köster. 

  • Area: 468 sq km
  • Population: 72,320. Spaniards (43%), Andorrans (33%), Portuguese (11%) and French (7%).
  • State Capital: Andorra la Vella (Andorra la Vieja; Andorre-la-Vieille)
  • Language: The official language is Catalan. Spanish and French are widely spoken.
  • Religion: Roman Catholicism.
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Time: Central European Time (UTC+1). (Summer Daylight Saving Time UTC+2).



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