Who is the head(s) of state of Andorra?
Ever wondered how princes look like? Do you know how a principality looks like? Today there are only three principalities: Monaco, Liechtenstein and Andorra. The first two principalities have a head of state and a royal family, but that’s not the case with Andorra.
So who is actually in charge in Andorra? Believe it or not – but Andorra has two co-princes! One of them is de facto a head of state of France, currently it’s Francois Hollande’s representative and the second one is the bishop of Urgell in Spain, which also sends a representative.
The history of that unique way of sovereignty dates back to 1278 when bishop of Urgell and count of Foix.
Another interesting fact is that Andorra got its constitution in 1993 which confirmed the sovereignty of the French and Spanish representatives.
Do you know – Andorra Facts
- Andorran capital – Andorra la Vella is the highest capital in Europe situated at 1023 meters (3356ft).
- Andorra is the only country where Catalan is the official language.
- The population of Andorra is roughly 84 000 residents.
- Andorrans, ethnically Catalans are a minority in their own country taking only 32.2 % out of whole population.
- Around 90% of Andorrans are Catholic.
- Saint Stephen (Sant Esteve in Catalan) is the patron saint of the capital Andorra la Vella.
- Before euro the currency of Andorra was the French franc and Spanish peseta.
- Andorra became a constitutional monarchy on 14th of March 1993 after a referendum.
- Name of the country Andorra comes from the tribe Andosins which means ‘big’ in Basque.
- In 1934 Boris Skossyreff proclaimed himself the King of Andorra
Why is Andorra where it is?
Ever wondered why would someone make a state in the alpine scenery of the Pyrenees? Why is Andorra where it is? In order to understand this you’ll have to go way back in history in times of Charlemagne and the birth of Medieval Europe.
During the 8th century the Moors were threatening the Charlemagne’s state and the Andorrans were fighting so bravely that Charlemagne granted a charter to them. Later on Charlemagne’s grandson gave the lands to the county of Urgell and after the treaty in 1278 Andorra became a ‘co-principality’ of the bishops of Urgell and counts of Foix, later Crown of France, and eventually the French President.
Perhaps Andorra was not so attractive destination for the conquerors due to its mountainous position, which nowadays is not that appealing (in contrast to the Charlemagne’s period when it was a turning point).