In case you did not know, Andorra is a tiny principality sandwiched inbetween France and Spain. Even though this sovereign state has been around for more than 1000 years, some people don’t believe that it’s a made-up or fictional country. There’s probably a bit that you don’t know about this country, but today my aim is to change that.
Here are 10 Facts you might not have known about Andorra
1. Andorra is really small
It’s the 16th smallest country in the world by land, and the 11th smallest by population. It is only about a 40km drive from one side of the country to the other. It occupies 460 square kilometres (180 square miles) of land. The total population of Andorra is about 85,000, which includes citizens and residents.
2. Andorra produces a lot of tobacco
Tobacco crops take up the majority of the limited farming space that this country has. There is no cigarette factory in the country, but it’s still one of the few places in Europe where you can still smoke indoors in public places. Cigarettes are a lot cheaper in Andorra (compared to other countries in Europe). A pack of 20 will set you back 3.60 Euros. The average price of cigarettes is 8 Euros in France and 5 Euros in Spain.
3. It’s the world’s only Co-Principality
Yes folks, it’s the only country that has TWO princes. A Co-Principality is a country that’s governed by more than one monarch. Joan Enric Vives Sicília (the Bishop of Urgell) and Emmanuel Macron (the French president) are currently the two princes. Neither of them are originally from Andorra and their positions are purely constitutional.
Before 1993 (when Andorra adopted a constituion), the country was subsequently governed jointly by representatives of the Spanish bishop of Urgel and of the French head of state, each of whom received an annual payment of a token tribute. This system was in place since the 13th Century.
4. It’s the only country in the world that has Catalan listed as an official language
Catalan is a language derived from Vulgar Latin. It’s also spoken in various regions of Spain, parts of Italy and parts of France. Spanish and French are the other languages that are spoken in the country.
5. Andorra has never had it’s own currency
The country is not part of the EU or Eurozone but is current using the Euro as it’s currency. Before the Euro, Andorrans bought goods with French Francs or Spanish Pesetas. Andorra has never had a national bank.
6. Andorra la Vella is the highest capital city in Europe
The capital city of Andorra is located at 1,023 metres (3356 feet) above sea-level in the Pyrenees mountains and has a population of only 10,000 people.
7. Andorra has only been part of the United Nations since 1993
Yes folks, the country waited 48 years to join the UN. They actually waited until the end of the Cold War so as to not violate their neutrality. They also joined the Council of Europe in 1993, the same year they adopted a new constitution and formally became a parliamentary democracy.
8. Andorra’s flag is strikingly similar to the flags of Chad, Romania and Moldova
The country’s flag has three vertical strips of blue, yellow, and red. The flags of Andorra and Moldova have their national crest on the flag, which is really the only way you can tell the flags apart if you see them flying.
9. The country has never won an Olympic medal
This is besides the fact that the country has been represented at the Olympics since 1976. The country has a major area for downhill skiing, but have won no models for the sport. However, Liechtenstein (an even smaller country) has won 10 medals for Alpine skiing.
10. There hasn’t been a war here for more than 1,000 years
Given its non-strategic location in the Pyrenees Mountains and lack of natural resources, the country has been without conflict almost since Charlemagne came through to fight the Moors. However, they did declare war on Germany in World War I, but never sent anyone into the conflict. The funny thing is that they only officially declared peace with Germany in 1957. Andorra was one of the neutral nations during the Second World War and never saw any conflict.
11. Andorra has a life expectancy of 82.9 years
That’s the 8th highest rate in the world by the way. Japan, Monaco, Singapore, Macau, San Marino, Iceland, and Hong Kong have higher life expectancies than this country.
12. The country has reported more than 13,000 Coronavirus Infections
To date the country has reported 13,918 Coronavirus cases. 127 people have died and 13,721 people have recovered.
Well, there you have it, interesting facts you might not have known about Andorra. I hope that you’ve learned something today. If so, feel free to share this article with your friends.
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