According to abbreviationfinder, Andorra la Vella is the capital of the Principality of Andorra, as well as the parish of the same name. It has an area of 12 km 2 and a population of 24,574 residents.
The old part is crossed by a long avenue from north to south. In the central district, a network of narrow streets leads to the Romanesque church and the Casa de la Vall, an original construction from the 16th century and current headquarters of the Government (Les Corts). Within its walls you can discover the kitchen and the great room, located on the first floor and containing beautiful Gothic wall paintings from the 16th century. From this room you can access the Council chamber. In this space the archives are kept in the closet ‘of the seven keys’ (each of the seven parishes has its corresponding one).
In the Middle Ages the valleys of Andorra belonged to the county of Urgell, but when it expanded to the south the mountainous areas were no longer of much interest to the count. Andorra became a council between the Bishop of Urgell and the Count of Foix, but in the 13th century, with the signing of the Pareatges, the limits of the power of each were established. The structure that was created then, has survived to this day and has allowed the independence of Andorra. Since the Principality was established in 1278, Andorra la Vella has always been the capital. In 1993 a Democratic Parliament was established, a body that was established by a recently approved Constitution.
Andorra la Vella is located in the Pyrenees, located in the western part of the principality at 1,123 meters above sea level, at the confluence of the Valira de Ordino and Valira de Encamp rivers, which when arriving next to the city (in Escaldes) they converge on the Valira river.
Its natural environment is rich in pine forests and fountains.
The climate is high mountain with Mediterranean influences. Temperatures are cold in winter and mild in summer. There are great variations depending on the height. The precipitations are registered, mainly, in autumn and in the form of snow in winter. The temperature fluctuates, on average, between two degrees below zero and 24.
The capital of the Principality of Andorra has a very diverse population from different points. 43% of the population is of Spanish nationality, while 33% is of exclusively Andorran nationality; 11% are Portuguese and 7% French. the population exceeds 24,500 residents. The official language is Catalan. See population of Andorra.
Saying Andorra is saying commerce. Thanks to its special tax situation, it can offer products at a lower cost than in Spain and France. For this reason, in Andorra there has always been “commercial tourism” that has been combining in recent years with snow or cultural tourism. We must add the contribution of financial services, construction and the Administration’s own activity. Tobacco is also produced.
Andorra la Vella has two main attractions for tourists: shopping and snow. In the first case, the city is a continuum of all kinds of shops where you can find all kinds of articles at lower prices than in neighboring countries.
The River Shopping Center is one of the most recommended centers for shopping or just having a good time. Here you can find stores specializing in luxury items, (from food to electronics, through tobacco, perfumes or records), among many other items.
Despite the fact that the city as such does not have any ski facilities, the influence of this sport in the lives of the residents of the capital is noticeable.
The city does not have its own airport, being three hours from the airports of Toulouse, Gerona, Perpignan and Barcelona. Which is a result of its small population and its very mountainous territory. In addition, it also does not have a train station, although there is a bus service that connects the city with the French train station in L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre, which offers long-distance services to Paris and also to Barcelona airport..
Art and culture
The Romanesque marks the architecture of the capital of the principality. Among the most outstanding buildings are:
- The Church of Sant Esteve (12th century),
- The Church of Sant Andreu (12th century),
- La Casa de la Vall (16th century, seat of Parliament),
Other sites of interest are:
The Puente de la Margineda (medieval style, with a sculpture by the Valencian artist Andreu Alfaro), the paths called Rec del Solà and Rec de l’Obac and the Plaza del Poble, which offers panoramic views of the entire valley.
In Roc d’Enclar there are archaeological sites where remains from the 3rd century have been found.
Some workshop dedicated to carving the stone still survives. On the other hand, Andorran artisan cheeses are very tasty.
Holidays and traditions
The Andorran festive year begins with the Three Kings Parade (January 5), and continues with Sant Antoni (January 17), Sant Jordi (April 23), the People’s Festival (June 24) and the Greater Festival (August). There are parties in specific areas of the city. The last days of October the Andorra la Vella Fair is celebrated. The traditional dance of Andorra la Vella is the ” contrapás “.
Andorra la Vella hosted many of the events of the Games of the Small States of Europe held in the Principality in 1991 and 2005.
The city was a candidate along with others for the 2010 Winter Olympics, which were awarded to the Canadian city of Vancouver.
Since 2007, the FIS has approved the ski slope: “L’avet” (Soldeu resort) to celebrate a women’s world cup of giant slalom for alpine skiing in 2011.
- Juli Minoves, politician.
- Lluís Claret, cellist.
- Jordi Escura, footballer and physiotherapist.
- Marta Roure, singer and actress.
- Alexandre Martínez, footballer.
- Marc Forné Molné, politician.
- Óscar Sonejee, footballer.
- Jaume Bartumeu, politician.