48 Facts About Andorra


Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south.

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Andorra is the world's 16th-smallest country by land and 11th-smallest by population.

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Origin of the word Andorra is unknown, although several hypotheses have been proposed.

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The oldest is one put forward by the Greek historian Polybius, who describes the Andosins, an Iberian Pre-Roman tribe, as historically located in the valleys of Andorra and facing the Carthaginian army in its passage through the Pyrenees during the Punic Wars.

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Sanctuary of Roc de les Bruixes is perhaps the most important archeological complex of this age in Andorra, located in the parish of Canillo, about the rituals of funerals, ancient scripture and engraved stone murals.

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Andorra remained part of the Frankish Marca Hispanica, the buffer zone between the Frankish Empire and the Muslim territories, Andorra being part of the territory ruled by the Count of Urgell and eventually the bishop of the Diocese of Urgell.

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The conflict was resolved in 1278 with the mediation of the king of Aragon, Peter III, between the bishop and the count, by the signing of the first pareage, which provided that Andorra's sovereignty be shared between the count of Foix and the bishop of Urgell, in Catalonia.

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Andorra was influenced by this language, which was adopted locally decades before it expanded to the rest of the Crown of Aragon.

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Andorra continued with the same economic system that it had during the 12th–14th centuries with a large production of metallurgy and with the introduction of tobacco circa 1692 and import trade.

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Andorra participated in the cultural movement of the Catalan Renaixenca.

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On 8 July 1934 Boris issued a proclamation in Urgell, declaring himself Boris I, King of Andorra, simultaneously declaring war on the Bishop of Urgell and approving the King's constitution on 10 July.

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Andorra was relatively unscathed by the two world wars and the Spanish Civil War.

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Andorra formalized diplomatic relations with the United States in 1996, participating in the 51st UN General Assembly.

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Andorra is a parliamentary co-principality with the president of France and the Catholic bishop of Urgell as co-princes.

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The politics of Andorra take place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democracy with a unicameral legislature, and of a pluriform multi-party system.

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Andorra does not have its own armed forces, although there is a small ceremonial army.

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Andorra is a full member of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and has a special agreement with the European Union, it has observer status at the World Trade Organization .

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On 16 October 2020, Andorra became the 190th member of the International Monetary Fund, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Andorra has a small army, which has historically been raised or reconstituted at various dates, but has never in modern times amounted to a standing army.

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In more recent times there has only been a general emergency call to the popular army of Sometent during the floods of 1982 in the Catalan Pyrenees, where 12 citizens perished in Andorra, to help the population and establish a public order along with the Local Police units.

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Andorra maintains a small but modern and well-equipped internal police force, with around 240 police officers supported by civilian assistants.

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Grup d'Intervencio Policia d'Andorra is a small special forces squad trained in counter-terrorism, and hostage recovery tasks.

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Phytogeographically, Andorra belongs to the Atlantic European province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom.

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Andorra had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 4.

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Andorra has alpine, continental and oceanic climates, depending on altitude.

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Andorra is not a member of the European Union, but enjoys a special relationship with it, such as being treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods and as a non-EU member for agricultural products.

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Andorra lacked a currency of its own and used both the French franc and the Spanish peseta in banking transactions until 31 December 1999, when both currencies were replaced by the EU's single currency, the euro.

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Andorra negotiated to issue its own euro coins, beginning in 2014.

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Andorra has historically had one of the world's lowest unemployment rates.

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On 31 May 2013, it was announced that Andorra intended to legislate for the introduction of an income tax by the end of June, against a background of increasing dissatisfaction with the existence of tax havens among EU members.

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Hollande welcomed the move as part of a process of Andorra "bringing its taxation in line with international standards".

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Andorra is one of only four European countries that have never signed the Council of Europe Framework Convention on National Minorities.

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Universitat d'Andorra is the state public university and is the only university in Andorra.

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The only two graduate schools in Andorra are the Nursing School and the School of Computer Science, the latter having a PhD programme.

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Geographical complexity of the country as well as the small number of students prevents the University of Andorra from developing a full academic programme, and it serves principally as a centre for virtual studies, connected to Spanish and French universities.

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Until the 20th century, Andorra had very limited transport links to the outside world, and development of the country was affected by its physical isolation.

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In 2010 Andorra became the first country to provide a direct optical fiber link to all homes and businesses.

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Andorra is home to folk dances like the contrapas and marratxa, which survive in Sant Julia de Loria especially.

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Andorra participated regularly in the Eurovision Song Contest between 2004 and 2009, being the only participating country presenting songs in Catalan.

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Andorra's cuisine is marked by its nature as mountain valleys.

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Andorra has the largest territory of ski slopes in the Pyrenees and two ski resorts.

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Roller hockey, Andorra usually plays in CERH Euro Cup and in FIRS Roller Hockey World Cup.

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In 2011, Andorra was the host country to the 2011 European League Final Eight.

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Andorra was admitted to UEFA and FIFA in the same year, 1996.

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Rugby is a traditional sport in Andorra, mainly influenced by the popularity in southern France.

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VPC Andorra XV is a rugby team based in Andorra la Vella, which actually plays in the French championship.

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Andorra competes in the Games of the Small States of Europe, being twice the host country, in 1991 and 2005.

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The Castellers d'Andorra, based in the town of Santa Coloma d'Andorra, are recognized by the Coordinadora de Colles Castelleres de Catalunya, the governing body of castells.

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