The Andorran flag is a tri-band color of three different colors namely Red, Yellow and Blue. These colors are actually inspired from the French and Spanish flags. The red and yellow came from the Spanish side while the French side being the red and the blue. Inside of the flag is the Andorran coat of arms. The coat of arms is a shield with a motto underneath it saying “Virtus Uanita Fortior” meaning united virtue stands stronger. The shield is separated by four different quadrants, the first one being from the La Seu d’Urgell region, the second one being from the former colony of Foix, the third one representing the crown of Aragon which is representing the Catalonia region and the fourth one represents the former Viscounty of Bearn.
Spain and France have actually played a very crucial role in Andorra’s history. In terms of its political geography Andorra is classified as a micro-nation because it is an incredibly a small nation. It is the third largest micro nation in Europe. The fourth probably being Cyprus and the fifth being Iceland which is boarded by Spain in the south and France in the north. Andorra is only about 181 square miles or 460 square kilometers which is about 2.5 times the size of Washington DC. The capital is Andorra la Vella and it has seven provinces.
Andorra doesn’t have any airports or seaports as it is a long landlocked country and it doesn’t have any train stations either. However, the nearest train station can be found at Latour de Carol in a town called L’Hospitalet pres Andorre which literally translates to the hospital close to Andorra and basically its only about two kilometers sitting next to the Andorran border. The nearest airports to Andorra will be found in Toulouse or Barcelona which are respectively about three hours of drive away from Andorra’s borders. Getting into Andorra can be pretty much difficult because there is only two main roads to get in. On the north side there’s the N-22 road from the French side and on the south there’s the N-145 highway. Of course there are other ways you can get in like the CG6 and CG4 highways on the other side of Spain; technically you can sneak into Andorra through a farm close to the N 145 highway in Spain. Entering through France as well is also more difficult because not only are there more hairpin turns into the mountain side but also all people entering through France will have to pay a seven-year-old fee to go through the Envalira tunnel.
The tunnel is about two kilometers and enters into the main parts of the country. Andorra is almost completely mountainous as it is a landlocked country in the Pyrenees mountain range and the Iberian Peninsula. Of course Andorra does have a few lakes and rivers the main one being the Riu Valira which passes through most of the main towns and the capital city of Andorra la Vella. Only about two percent of Andorra’s land is arable for farming and livestock production. However, with whatever land that they do have, they produce staples food produce like grains and vegetables. The most common crops the Andorran grows are hay and tobacco. Majority of their food is actually imported mostly because their economy is heavily based on tourism and banking and about 7% is classified as unclassified transactions.
Andorran is versatile in raising sheep and there are a lot of ski resorts as well especially when you enter on the French side. The people of this region are actually really interesting. When it comes to demographics, Andorra is very strange because the majority of people in Andorra are actually not even Andorran nationals. Only about 1/3 of the people living are actually Andorrans while the others are Spanish, French and Portuguese which basically means about two-thirds of the people can’t even vote or hold office as head of state or own 33 or more percent of any stock in Andorra. Nonetheless Catalan is the main or official language of Andorra. People do have the choice to send their kids to either Spanish Catalan or French schools and surprisingly enough most people actually choose the French schools. Catalan is actually a Romance language related to Spanish and French however most people are actually trilingual or Quadra lingual using Portuguese or English as their fourth language.
The strangest thing about Andorra though would have to be their governmental systems. Andorra has what you would call co principality and is the only one in the world with this kind of system. They basically have two princes however these princes aren’t really acquired by any kind of royal lineage or even related to each other. Then how is this possible? The president of France and the bishop of La Seu d’Urgell in Spain are the princes. That means whoever is the current president of France and whoever is the bishop of Seu d’Urgell are considered monarchs.
However, Andorra does have its own head of government position that it holds that the Andorran people vote for, a third of the Andorran people at least who oversees most of the executive duties of the country along with the general counsel of parliament. However the head of government can also request certain sanctions from the two other monarchs.
Because Andorra is classified as a tax haven, pretty much everybody loves Andorra. However, Andorra is careful about this and has not just thrown herself out to anybody who says they like her. She’s careful with whom she goes to and keeping her embassies to a minimum and invested in the people that she can cooperate with. To this day Andorra only has about six embassies in six countries and the countries are Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, the United States and Austria. Technically the embassy in the United States triples as an embassy for Mexico and Canada. Spain and France are the only countries that have embassies inside of Andorra.
Andorra doesn’t have any international disputes or controversies however it did kind of take them a little while to have diplomatic relations with Kosovo. They were a little bit hesitant at first but now they have relations and it’s all good. To be frank, Spain and France are not only probably Andorra best friends but they’re pretty much the protective parents who ever stood by the nation for nearly all of its history. Spain and France have a huge holding on Andorra’s relationships. In conclusion, Andorra is kind of like the hidden gem tucked away in the Pyrenees Mountains that is really hard to get to but if you’re a travel freak see if you can get to this beautiful place.