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Andorra la Vella
Andorra la Vella

Flag

Seal
Andorra la Vella is located in Andorra
Andorra la Vella
Location within Andorra
Coordinates: 42°30′N 1°30′E / 42.5°N 1.5°E / 42.5; 1.5
Country Andorra
Parishes Andorra la Vella
Area
 - Total 30 km2 (11.6 sq mi)
Elevation 1,023 m (3,356 ft)
Population (2004)
 - Total 22,884
 - Density 762.8/km2 (1,975.6/sq mi)
Website www.andorralavella.ad

Andorra la Vella is the capital of the Co-principality of Andorra, and is located high in the east Pyrenees between France and Spain. It is also the name of the parish that surrounds the capital.

The principal industry is tourism, although the country also earns foreign income from being a tax-haven. Furniture and brandies are local products.

Contents

Geography and climate

Valira river in Andorra la Vella

Andorra la Vella is located in the south west of Andorra, at 42°30′N 1°30′E / 42.5°N 1.5°E / 42.5; 1.5.[1], at the confluence of two mountain streams, the Valira del Nord and the Valira del Orient, which join to form the Valira River. Located at an elevation of 1,023 metres (3,360 ft),[2] it is the highest capital city in Europe and a popular ski resort. It has a temperate climate with cold winters and warm, drier summers. Temperatures range from an average of around −1 °C (30.2 °F) in January to around 20 °C (68 °F) in July;[3] there is 808 millimetres (31.8 in) of precipitation a year.

History

Town hall

The site of Andorra la Vella (literally, "Andorra the Old") has been settled since prior to the Christian era — notably by the Andosin tribe from the late Neolithic. The state is one of the Marca Hispanica created and protected by Charlemagne in the eighth century as a buffer from the Moorish settlers in the Iberian Peninsula [4].

The settlement has been the principal city of Andorra since 1278 when the French and the Episcopal co-princes agreed to joint suzerainty. Andorra La Vella's old town — the Barri Antic — includes streets and buildings dating from this time. Its most notable building is the Casa de la Vall — constructed in the early sixteenth century — which has been the state's parliamentary house since 1707. Andorra la Vella was, during this period, the capital of a largely isolated and feudal state, which retained its independence due to this principle of co-sovereignty.[5]

Well into the twentieth century, the area around Andorra La Vella remained largely forgotten; indeed the state was not part of the Treaty of Versailles, simply because it was not noticed. After political turmoil in the 1930s and an attempted coup by King Boris I, an informal democracy developed.

In 1993, the country's first constitution formalised this parliamentary democracy with executive, legislative, and judicial branches located in Andorra la Vella.

During this period, Andorra also developed as a tax haven, resulting in the construction of modern banking offices in Andorra La Vella. The city also developed its skiing facilities, to the extent that Andorra la Vella was Andorra's applicant city for the XXI Olympic Winter Games, the 2010 Winter Olympics. However, Andorra la Vella was not selected by the IOC as a candidate city, following the evaluation report of an IOC commission. It also hosted both the 1991 and 2005 Games of the Small States of Europe.

Subdivisions

The parish of Andorra la Vella is divided into the villages of Andorra la Vella itself, La Margineda and Santa Coloma.

Transportation

Surprisingly for a capital city, it is three hours' drive from the nearest airports at Toulouse, Girona, Perpignan and Barcelona. This is a result of its small population size and highly mountainous terrain. It also has no train station, although there is a bus service linking the city to the French train station at L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre, which has mainline services to Paris and also to the airport of El Prat of Barcelona.

Demographics and language

Native Andorrans, whom are ethnically Catalan, account for only a third (33%) of the population, with the plurality being Spanish (43%), and notable minorities of Portuguese (11%) and French (7%) . Catalan is the official language, although Spanish, Portuguese and French are also spoken. Most of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics, with a high life expectancy of over 80 years [6].

Sights and culture

Central streets of Andorra la Vella

The city's old town is characterized by old stone streets and houses. The central Església de Sant Esteve (Saint Stephen) church is part of the area that guidebooks often label as a picturesque part of the city.[7] This was built in a Romanesque style in the eleventh century. As mentioned earlier, the old town also includes the country's historic parliament building. Probably the oldest building in the city is another church, dating from the ninth century, of Santa Coloma.[8]

The city is the country's cultural centre, with the Government Exhibition Hall acting as a main theatre and museum. The piazza outside the parliament building is also the location of a number of events, and the town hosts a music festival every winter.

Economy

Andorra la Vella is the country's commercial centre. In the country as a whole, 80% of the GDP is derived from the 10 million tourists who visit annually.[9] The city is also the centre for the many banks and businesses that thrive from its tax haven status. The state is not a member of the European Union, but has a customs arrangement with the EU, and uses the Euro.

Notable people

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Andorra la Vella is twinned with:

References

External links

Coordinates: 42°30′00″N 1°30′00″E / 42.5°N 1.5°E / 42.5; 1.5


Andorra la Vella
File:Flag of Andorra la
Flag
File:Escut d'Andorra la
Seal
Location within Andorra
Coordinates: 42°30′N 01°30′E / 42.5°N 1.5°E / 42.5; 1.5
Country  Andorra
Parishes Andorra la Vella
Area
 - Total 30 km2 (11.6 sq mi)
Elevation 1,023 m (3,356 ft)
Population (2007)
 - Total 24,574
 Density 762.8/km2 (1,975.6/sq mi)
Website www.andorralavella.ad

Andorra la Vella is the capital of the Co-principality of Andorra, and is located high in the east Pyrenees between France and Spain. It is also the name of the parish that surrounds the capital.

The principal industry is tourism, although the country also earns foreign income from being a tax-haven. Furniture and brandies are local products.

Contents

Geography and climate

File:Andorra la Vella, Valira
Gran Valira river in Andorra la Vella flowing under the Pont de Paris road bridge

Andorra la Vella is located in the south west of Andorra, at 42°30′N 1°30′E / 42.5°N 1.5°E / 42.5; 1.5[1], at the confluence of two mountain streams, the Valira del Nord and the Valira del Orient, which join to form the Gran Valira. It adjoins the urban area of Escaldes-Engordany. Being at an elevation of 1,023 metres (3,356 ft), it is the highest capital city in Europe and a popular ski resort.

It has a temperate climate with cold winters and warm, drier summers. Temperatures range from an average of around

  1. REDIRECT Template:Convert/°C in January to around
  2. REDIRECT Template:Convert/°C in July;[2] there is 808 millimetres (31.8 in) of precipitation a year.

History

The site of Andorra la Vella (literally, "Andorra the Old") has been settled since prior to the Christian era — notably by the Andosin tribe from the late Neolithic. The state is one of the Marca Hispanica created and protected by Charlemagne in the eighth century as a buffer from the Moorish settlers in the Iberian Peninsula.[3]

The settlement of Andorra la Vella has been the principal city of Andorra since 1278 when the French and the Episcopal co-princes agreed to joint suzerainty. Andorra La Vella's old town — the Barri Antic — includes streets and buildings dating from this time. Its most notable building is the Casa de la Vall — constructed in the early sixteenth century — which has been the state's parliamentary house since 1702. Andorra la Vella was, during this period, the capital of a largely isolated and feudal state, which retained its independence due to this principle of co-sovereignty.[4]

Well into the twentieth century, the area around Andorra La Vella remained largely forgotten; indeed the state was not part of the Treaty of Versailles, simply because it was not noticed. After political turmoil in the 1930s and an attempted coup by Boris Skossyreff, an informal democracy developed.

In 1993, the country's first constitution formalised this parliamentary democracy with executive, legislative, and judicial branches located in Andorra la Vella.

During this period, Andorra also developed as a tax haven, resulting in the construction of modern banking offices in Andorra La Vella. The city also developed its skiing facilities, to the extent that Andorra la Vella was Andorra's applicant city for the XXI Olympic Winter Games, the 2010 Winter Olympics. However, Andorra la Vella was not selected by the IOC as a candidate city, following the evaluation report of an IOC commission. It also hosted both the 1991 and 2005 Games of the Small States of Europe.

Subdivisions

The parish of Andorra la Vella is divided into the villages of Andorra la Vella itself, La Margineda and Santa Coloma.

Transportation

Surprisingly for a capital city, it is three hours' drive from the nearest airports at Toulouse (Tolosa in Occitan), Girona, Perpignan (Perpinyà) and Barcelona. This is a result of its small population size and highly mountainous terrain. It also has no train station, although there is a bus service linking the city to the French train station at L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre, which has mainline services to Paris and also to the airport of El Prat of Barcelona.

Demographics and language

Native Andorrans, who are ethnically Catalan, account for only a third (33%) of the population, with the plurality being Spanish (43%), and notable minorities of Portuguese (11%) and French (7%) . Catalan is the official language, although Spanish, Portuguese and French are also spoken. Most of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics, with a high life expectancy of over 80 years.[5]

Sights and culture

File:Andorra la Vella,
Central streets of Andorra la Vella

The city's old town is characterized by old stone streets and houses. The central Església de Sant Esteve (Saint Stephen) church is part of the area that guidebooks often label as a picturesque part of the city.[6] This was built in a Romanesque style in the eleventh century. As mentioned earlier, the old town also includes the country's historic parliament building. Probably the oldest building in the city is another church, dating from the ninth century, of Santa Coloma.[7]

The city is the country's cultural centre, with the Government Exhibition Hall acting as a main theatre and museum. The piazza outside the parliament building is also the location of a number of events, and the town hosts a music festival every winter.

Economy

Andorra la Vella is the country's commercial centre. In the country as a whole, 80% of the GDP is derived from the 10 million tourists who visit annually.[8] The city is also the centre for the many banks and businesses that thrive from its tax haven status. The state is not a member of the European Union, but has a customs arrangement with the EU, and uses the Euro.

Notable people

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Andorra la Vella is twinned with:

References

External links

Coordinates: 42°30′00″N 1°30′00″E / 42.5°N 1.5°E / 42.5; 1.5

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Andorra La Vella article)

From Wikitravel

Europe : Iberia : Andorra : Andorra La Vella

Andorra La Vella[1] is the capital of Andorra.

Get around

You should be able to walk around most of Andorra La Vella. The town is really in two parts. There is the newer section at the North end of the town that is very commerical with lots of shops. The other half is the older half, down across the river and to the South and West. This also has quite a number of shops and places to eat and also the historic part.

If you stay in either of these areas, you can easily cover on foot, but walking from the end of one half to the other will take a good half hour or more, so it is worth taking the local bus which is cheap. Be sure to read the timetable and routes carefully on the bus stop.

Sant Esteve's church near parliament building in the old historic section of Andorra La Vella. Taken Oct 2005
Sant Esteve's church near parliament building in the old historic section of Andorra La Vella. Taken Oct 2005
  • The church of Sant Esteve: dated from the 12th century. It is in the old part of the Andorra la Vella. Open: July to August: daily, 10.00-13.00 & 15.00-19.00. Free-guided tour. The rest of the year only at mass hours.
  • Church of Sant Andreu: Romanesque church dated from the 12th century. It is in the Sant Andreu St. Open: Mon to Sat. It is obligatory to reserve at phone +376 827 117.
  • Casa de la Vall: The seat of the Consell General (Andorran Parliament) Dating from the 16th century. With guide service. Open: Mon to Sat 09.30-13.00 & 15.00-19.00. Free-guided tour. Sundays (from May to October) from 10 to 14h.
  • Bridge of la Margineda: This bridge dates from medieval times but is still in perfect condition. Nearby there is a metallic sculpture made by the Valencian sculptor Andreu Alfaro. It is in Santa Coloma.
  • Rec del Solà and Rec de l’Obac: paved ways with handrails illuminated in the night. They are 2,5 km long. Starting point: Col·legi Sant Ermengol road and Tarragona avenue, respectively.
  • The town square: this is a surprisingly peaceful place with a panoramic view of the Valley of Andorra.
  • You can visit the spa / sauna / swimming complex known as the Caldea. It is located at the top of the town in the large glass spire structure
  • Parliament building and old town. The parliament building is a relatively modern building and you can walk around up the hill behind it and go onto the roof where there is a type of mini park. On a nice day, there is a great view out over the valley across and looking South towards Santa Coloma. From here you can head back up the hill slightly to the right and visit the old church of St Esteve. Behind it, is an interesting little area filled with narrow streets which is clearly the original location of the settlement.

Buy

The best bargains can be got in electronic goods and jewelry. High cost items tend to be cheaper than anywhere else because of the low tax.

The great thing about the electronic goods like digital cameras is that there are a huge range of shops and a huge stock range, so you really get to see all the different makes and models.

Some of the larger shops seem to stock a lot of brand label clothing. Don't miss out on the Via Moda Group.... especially during sales.

There are loads of ski gear shops. The best advice is to shop around.

Eat

There are a number of reasonably priced restaurants, although many of them tend to be Italian food of pizza and pasta. Gourmets will naturally find good addresses with the prices to go with them. Beware!!!! You find nothing open after 10:30p.m. so plan ahead!

Drink

Drink and spirits especially are very good value in the supermarkets. Especially at the Hiper Andorra.

Sleep

Husa Centric Hotel -located centrally in the main shopping area. Reasonable rates. This is part of the Husa chain in Spain.

Get out

La Vella is not a bad location if you want to go skiing because you can get either the local bus or the "Snow" bus up to most of the ski resorts. Most hotels during the ski season should have details.

The old town is worth visiting. It is up on the hill to the West and South of the main modern part of the town. It is quite old and quaint. You should cover it in about 2 or 3 hours.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Contents

English

Proper noun

Andorra la Vella

  1. The capital of Andorra.

Estonian

Proper noun

Andorra la Vella

  1. Andorra la Vella

German

Proper noun

Andorra la Vella

  1. Andorra la Vella

Simple English

Andorra la Vella
File:Flag of Andorra la
Flag
File:Escut d'Andorra la
Seal
Location of Andorra la Vella
Coordinates: 42°30′00″N 01°31′00″E / 42.5°N 1.5166667°E / 42.5; 1.5166667
Country Andorra
Elevation Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "," m (4,625 ft)
Population (2004)
 - Total 22,884
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Website http://www.comuandorra.ad/

Andorra la Vella is the capital city of the principality of Andorra. It is located in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. Its elevation is 1,409 m (4,625 ft) above sea level.[1] Andorra la Vella is located in the south western part of Andorra. It experiences cold winters and warm, drier summers. There are no train stations or airports close to the city. Most people in the city are Spanish (43%). Only 33% of the population are native Andorrans. Products made in the city include furnitures and brandies.

References



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