Andorra la Vella

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Andorra la Vella

image_caption = Andorra la Vella


mapsize = 100px

pushpin_label_position = none
pushpin_map_caption = Location within Andorra
pushpin_mapsize =
map_caption = Position of Andorra la Vella in Andorra
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = Parishes
subdivision_name = Andorra
subdivision_name1 = Andorra la Vella
leader_title =
leader_name =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 30
area_land_km2 =
area_water_km2 =
population_as_of = 2004
population_note =
population_total = 22884
population_metro =
population_density_km2 = 762.8
timezone =
utc_offset =
timezone_DST =
utc_offset_DST =
latd=42 |latm=30 |latNS=N
longd=1 |longm=30 |longEW=E
elevation_m = 1023
website = []
footnotes =
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 it. The town of Santa Coloma is located in the province.

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

Geography and climate

Andorra la Vella is located in the south west of Andorra, at coord|42|30|N|1|30|E|. [ [ NGA: Country Files ] ] , at the confluence of two mountain streams. Located at an altitude of convert|1409|m|ft|lk=on [ [ Maps, Weather, and Airports for Andorra la Vella, Andorra ] ] , it is a high capital and popular ski resort. Its climate is Temperate with cold winters and warm, drier summers. Temperatures range from an average of around convert|-1|C|F|lk=on in January and convert|20|C|F| in July [ [ Andorra - Atlapedia Online ] ] ; rainfall is at convert|808|mm|in|lk=on a year.


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 has no train station either, with a bus service linking the city to the French station at L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre, which has mainline services to Paris.

Demographics and language

Native Andorrans account for only 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 [ [ CIA - The World Factbook - Andorra ] ] .


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 [ [ History of the Principality of Andorra ] ] .

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. [ [ Yahoo! Singapore Travel ] ]

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.

Sights and culture

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 [ [;read=233 The beautiful Andorra la Vella ] ] . 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. [ [ Andorra la vella travel guide ] ]

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.


Andorra la Vella is the node for economic networks in Andorra; it 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 [ [ CruisesOnly - About Cruising - Cruise Advice ] ] . 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.

Twin towns

Andorra la Vella is twinned with:
* Valls, Spain


External links

* [ City council of Andorra la Vella] ca icon
* [ Hotel Ski Plaza, Andorra la vella]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Andorra la Vella — Gemeinde in Andorra Wappen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Andorra la Vella — (también conocida como Andorra la Vieja), con una población en 2002 de 20.724 habitantes es la capital del Principado de Andorra. La población es muy diversa: 43% españoles, 33% andorranos, 11% portugueses, 7% franceses. El catalán es la lengua… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Andorra La Vella — Wappen Karte Basisdaten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Andorra la Vella — Andorre la Vieille Pour les articles homonymes, voir Andorre (homonymie). Andorre la Vieille …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Andorra la Vella — Original name in latin Andorra la Vella Name in other language ALV, Ando la Vyey, Andora, Andora la Vela, Andora la Velja, Andora lja Vehl ja, Andoro Malnova, Andorra, Andorra Tuan, Andorra a Vella, Andorra la Biella, Andorra la Vella, Andorra la …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Andorra la Vella — Town (pop., 2001 est.: 20,800), capital of Andorra. It lies near the confluence of the Valira and Valira del Norte rivers. The town long remained relatively isolated from the outside world, but its population began to grow after World War II as… …   Universalium

  • Andorra la Vella — Sp Andorà Ap Andorra la Vella L Andoros sostinė …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Andorra la Vella — noun The capital of Andorra …   Wiktionary

  • Andorra la Vella — Hauptstadt von Andorra …   Universal-Lexikon

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