Facts about Andorra

 

Andorra is a small independent principality between France and Spain in the Pyrenees. It is known for its ski resorts and tax haven status that encourages tax-free shopping. The capital, Andorra la Vella, has boutiques and jewelry stores on Meritxell Avenue and several shopping centers. In the Barri Antic district is the Romanesque church of Santa Coloma with a round bell tower.

Andorra is a landlocked country in southwestern Europe. It is officially the Principality of Andorra.

The population of Andorra is approximately 70,000 people! That makes it the 11th smallest country in the world by population.

Andorra is among the safest countries in the world with almost zero pickpocketing, car theft and disorderly conduct incidents.

It is the 6th smallest country in Europe and 16th smallest country worldwide.

Andorra, according to some estimates, is the world’s 14th oldest country.

The official currency in Andorra is the euro.

The offices of the government, court, and prison are housed in the “House of the Valleys,” which was built in 1580 in Andorra la Vella, the capital city of Andorra.

It is believed that the colors on the country flag of Andorra reflect the impact of both Spain and France, as the French flag has red and blue stripes, and the flag of Spain has a combination of yellow and red.

Andorra also witnesses the world’s most prestigious cycle race – the Tour De France.

Even though the flag of Andorra has been used since the 19th century, its design was officially ratified only in 1993, when Andorra joined the United Nations.

Andorra is a principality (a territory ruled by a prince).

Around 92% of the country is forest land, and only 8% is urbanized or used for farming.

The capital city of Andorra, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe with an elevation of 1,023 meters.

About 9% of the country has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

It is also the only country in the world where Catalan is an official language.

Andorra produces some high-quality wine! Local vineyards make impressive high-altitude wines, such as Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.

Andorra is not an official member of the European Union.

Even though Andorra has two princes, it is a parliamentary co-principality, which means that the real executive power over the country lies in the hands of the prime minister.

According to the CIA, Andorra ranks eighth in overall life expectancy in the world, with Monaco at the top and Chad at the bottom of the list.

Andorra is the largest  country in Europe considered to be a microstate. The biggest smallest nation, if you will.

According to World Bank data, more than 10 million tourists arrived in Andorra last year.

Andorra has never had its own army. However, in times of extreme need, the army has been formed by the heads of the families.

In 1933, Andorra was occupied by France.

There are no airports or railroads in Andorra, and it is only possible to enter the country by land through its neighbors.

Andorra became a member of the UN and Council of Europe in 1993. The political system of the country was also modernized the same year.

The postal service in Andorra is operated by France and Spain, and not the state. Both of these countries issue special stamps that can be used by Andorrans. 

Andorra has two princes. The president of France and the Bishop of Urgell serve as co-princes for the country. Note that it is the world’s only co-principality.

There are three pillars that generate more than three-quarters of the GDP in Andorra: tourism (with a large part of it related to skiing in the Pyrenees Mountains), financial services, and retail sales.

Skiing is a popular sport in the country, attracting millions of tourists every year. Vallnord and Grand Valira are two popular ski areas in the country.

The country of Andorra can fit into the City of London more than three times.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), does not provide health coverage in Andorra.

Andorra’s largest natural park, the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, and takes up 9% of the country.

The common otter is among the country’s threatened species, while the Apollo butterfly and the lesser horseshoe bat are vulnerable species in Andorra.

Before ski resorts became popular, it was tobacco that drove the country’s economy.

Because of its high elevation, the northern valleys in the country are completely snowed in for several months of the year.

Two of the main international airports nearby are Toulouse in France and Barcelona in Spain.

An estimated two-thirds of the Andorran population is without Andorran nationality. They are not allowed to vote or to be elected as the president.

The people of Andorra live to a very old age. For males the life expectancy is around 80, while for females it is around 84.

Spanish nationals account for almost 43% of Andorra’s population.

The land in Andorra is rough and mountainous, and it has several small mountain lakes and rivers.

Arinsal is the smallest city in the country, with a population of 1,555.

Most of the time, Andorra has a moderate (average) climate, but its high elevation causes the winters to be severe (very cold).

Only 5% of the land in Andorra is arable.

Summers in Andorra are warm and dry, and most of the country’s rain falls from October to May.

Andorra was once referred to as “the poor man’s Switzerland.”

Birds such as eagles, vultures, and ducks can also be found in Andorra.

There’s no income or inheritance tax in Andorra.

There are about 3,500 species of plants in the Pyrenees region.

The Coma Pedrosa, at 2,942 meters (9,652 ft), is the highest mountain (highest point) in the country.

Andorra was originally created as a buffer state by the French emperor Charlemagne to keep the Moors out of France.

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