Geography of Europe. State of Andorra
At the mention of the state of Andorra, an image of a small mountainous country, skiers and amazing beauty of nature immediately appears in the head. All these thoughts are largely true. Andorra is one of the smallest countries in the world, located in the highlands, between Spain and France.
State of Andorra. A bit of history
It is assumed that the decision on the foundation of Andorra was made by Charlemagne, who decided to celebrate in this way the victory of his vassal over the army of Spanish Muslims.
The story that marked the beginning of the principality of Andorra happened in the year 805. Then the King of Aquitaine, Louis the First Pious defeated the Saracens, thanks to the support of a small mountain community, whose inhabitants helped the king to send his army over the mountains and inflict a crushing defeat on Muslims.
In 1278, a historic agreement was concluded between the Comte de Foix and the Bishop of Urgell that the two rulers would exercise authority over the state of Andorra through their governors.
Over time, the sovereign rights to control a small principality passed from one medieval ruler to another. When the dukes of Foix became the kings of Navarre, power passed to the kingdom of Navarre, and subsequently to the French crown. Then the power was transferred to the French Republic. The President of France is still one of the princes who holds the power in the principality. However, today this power is only formal.
The state of Andorra, where there are numerous prestigious ski resorts, is a prominent representative of politically stable communities in Europe. However, this was not always the case.
Despite the fact that to this day the nominal heads of state are the Bishop of Urgell and the President of France, who govern the country through their legal representatives, Andorra is a fully independent state with its own distinctive political structure.
The role of parliament is played by the General Council of the Valleys, founded in 1419. Initially, the main task of the new institution was the selection of the syndics who ruled the tiny state.Today, the sphere of activity of the parliament includes a variety of issues of public administration, since, according to the constitution, the state of Andorra is a parliamentary principality.
Until 1993, there was an old custom in the country to annually pay a small tribute to the overlords as a sign of loyalty, but later it was canceled.
As for the judicial system, it, as in other countries, consists of the Supreme Court, Criminal, Constitutional, as well as the Court of Magistrates. The Constitutional Court deals with complaints about compliance with the constitution and determines how the new laws comply with it, as well as interprets the basic law.
The state of Andorra, whose sights are mostly natural, is located in a small hollow in the Pyrenees mountains. From all sides except the south, Andorra is framed by steep mountain slopes and high peaks, some of which are above 2500 meters, such as, for example, Pedrosa peak.
The main rivers of a small mountainous country are Ariège and Valira. The same rivers form the main features of the local relief, such as narrow gorge, ravines and winding valleys.
In addition, on the territory of the principality there are numerous lakes of glacial origin with clear and transparent water. Thanks to such a beautiful nature, the state of Andorra, whose photo you see in the article, is very popular among tourists.
Economy of the Principality
As mentioned above, natural beauty attracts numerous travelers to the country every year. In 2016, the number of tourists who arrived in the country during the year reached nine million people.
Such a large number of travelers makes tourism the most important part of the country's economy. According to official data, its share reaches 80% of the economy.
In addition, the banking business is important, which attracts business travelers and allows the country to occupy one of the leading places on the European financial market. In the capital of the state of Andorra - La Vella - there are representative offices of the largest European and American banks, but there are also actually Andorran respected organizations.
Kingdom of Andorra - a state that was not
Although throughout its history, Andorra was a principality and ruled by its overlords, it was in its history and a short period when it was a kingdom, although unrecognized by other states.
In the mid-thirties of the 20th century, a period of political instability occurred in the state, caused by difficulties in Spain and France. It was at this time that Boris Mikhailovich Skosyrev, a native of Belarus, arrived in the country, who, taking advantage of the country's isolation from the outside world and a period of political crisis, submitted a rather unexpected proposal to the country's parliament to turn the principality into a kingdom on the grounds that the French presidents never inherited the right of monarchs to rule Andorra, so you can get rid of their power by establishing your own sovereign monarchy.
The parliament of the state of Andorra, oddly enough, supported the initiative foreigner by a majority vote, and on July 7, 1934, Skosyrev declared himself ruler of the Kingdom of Andorra under the name of Boris l. However, the state did not recognize anyone, and twelve days later the new king was arrested by the Spanish police, to whom the bishop of Urgelia turned.