Overview of Andorra la Vella

History of Andorra la Vella

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According to Charlemagne tradition, the first monarch of the Germanic Roman Empire, he granted Andorra's independence in exchange for help to fight against Al-Andalus, in 805.

Consequently, Andorra was recognized as a country for the first time in 819 and was governed following the Feudalism system by the Urgell parish.

Later on, Borrell II, Count of Urgell, gave the Andorran valleys to the Diocese of Urgell in exchange for some land in Cerdanya.
However, after a few years, Bishop of Urgell knew that the Count of Urgell wanted to reclaim back the Andorran valleys. It was then when Bishop of Urgell asked Lord of Caboet, a catalán nobleman, for help and protection.

In 1095, Lord of Caboet and the Bishop of Urgell signed the declaration of their co-sovereignty over Andorra.

Later on, Arnalda, daughter of Arnau of Caboet, married the Viscount of Castellbò and both became Viscounts of Castellbò and Cerdanya. Years later, her daughter, Ermessenda, got married with Roger Bernat II, the French Count of Foix. They became Roger Bernat II and Ermessenda I, Counts of Foix, Viscounts of Castellbò and Cerdanya, and again co-sovereigns of Andorra (shared with the Bishop of Urgell).

In 1806, Napoleon accepted the express request of the Andorrans and turned Andorra into a Republic. In fact it was a co-principality that exerted the president of France and the bishop of Urgell (The bishop of "La Seu d'Urgell" and the King of France (currently the president of the French Republic) are still described as "co-princes").

The legislative power resided in the General Council, whose 28 members were elected by universal and direct suffrage (4 for each of the 7 parish in which the territory is divided) for a period of four years. Initially the General Council also exercised the executive power.

In 1977, the elections supposed the division between the conservatives and the progressives. The consolidation of the democratization process culminated in 1982 when the General Council renounced to the executive power. A government was then formed and presided by Oscar Ribas and later by Josep Pintat (1984).

7 years later, the General Council developed a new constitutional framework, which was approved by referendum in 1993.

In July 1993, Andorra became a full member of the international community, joining the UN. The following year, in November 1994, Andorra joined the Council of Europe.

Update 4/10/2018

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