Map Page 1131 Area 183 square mi (468 square km) Capital Andorra la Vella Population 69,150 Highest Point 9,722 ft (2,946 m) Lowest Point 2,772 ft (840 m) GDP per capita $19,000 Primary Natural Resources hydropower, timber.
ONE OF THE WORLD'S true curiosities, the sovereign coprincipality of Andorra retains independent status which, according to local history, was granted in the 9th century by Charlemagne for the people's valiant services to him against the Moors.
Consisting of the upper valleys of the river Valira, this tiny country is nestled among the high mountain passes of the Pyrenees between FRANCE and SPAIN.
Only 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C., it is one of the smallest countries in the world.
What makes Andorra truly curious, however, is it's unusual status as a coprincipality, though without a local prince; instead, it is governed jointly by the republic of FRANCE and by the Bishop of Urgell, a small town a few miles to the south in Spain.
The French president and the bishop act as coprinces only nominally, however, and since 1993 the country has been entirely sovereign and self-ruling.
PEAKS AND VALLEYS Andorra is located between the French department of Ariege, in the region of Midi-Pyrenees, and the Spanish province of Lerida (or Lleida) in the region of Catalonia.
Consisting of high mountain peaks and narrow valleys, the elevation of Andorra ranges from 6,500 to 10,000 ft (2,000 to 3,000 m).
The climate is fairly severe, restricting vegetation to minimal mountain scrub: One suggestion of the origin of the name Andorra, is that it comes from a local term for "shrub-covered." But this climate provides excellent high mountain pastures for sheep and cattle and is also a great attraction for skiers from all over Europe.
The economy runs mostly on tourism, with numerous summer and winter resorts, and also as a duty-free shopping center.
Much of Andorra remains rural.
Most of its inhabitants live in one of six main villages, raise their herds of sheep or cattle, and manage small farms, raising rye, wheat, barley, oats, and vegetables.
There are also some fruit orchards and vineyards.
Most of the population lives in and around the capital, Andorra la Vella, where there is some light manufacture, notably cigarettes, sandals, and anisette liqueur.
The coprincipality has been jointly ruled since a treaty in 1278 between the Count of Foix and the Bishop of Urgell.
At that time, there were several small states between France and Spain; the unusual thing is that this one survived into the 21st century.
The pass of Port d'Envalita (7,943 ft or 2,407 m) has served as a major route between Toulouse, France, and northern Spain since ancient times.
While the status of the bishop remained the same, the Counts of Foix eventually died out and the title was absorbed by the king of France in the 17th century.
After the French Revolution, the post naturally fell to the president of the republic.
In 1993, Andorrans voted in favor of a new constitution that, while retaining the honorific position of the coprinces, gives Andorra complete sovereignty and control over its affairs, both internal and external.
It has been a member of the EUROPEAN UNION (EU) since 1990, uses the euro, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1994.
But Andorra's position as a free-port also brings with it the associated problems of smuggling and money laundering, the subject of an accord settled between the five European microstates and the EU in 2003.
- Pavements in Great Britain are now able to bring free Wi-Fi
"Communications company from Buckinghamshire that is located to the north-west of London has offered an unusual service for local residents and guests in Chesham: a wireless internet connection is now provided by the pavements.
All the necessary equipment is installed under the so-called “smart pavement” that is capable to stand the heavy loads. At the moment the network covers the central streets and main bus stops of the town. It is planned to install the Wi-Fi zones all around Chesham.
Let us remind you that Moscow is planning to make available free Wi-Fi connection in the buses till the end of 2015. "
- A tourist has robbed a Thai bank to buy a ticket home
"The Australian tourist had a great time in Thailand, as we can see. He has been staying in the South-East Asian country this man realized that he had spent all his money and now cannot get home.
In order to buy an air ticket he didn’t have a better idea, but to go and rob a bank. The Australian broke into one of the departments in the center of Bangkok city wearing a mask and with a gun in his hands, which then turned out to be a toy gun.
23-year old tourist got 170,000 baht from the tellers, but didn’t manage to hide: he was quickly arrested by the police. Being questioned the criminal explained that he took the extreme measure because he couldn’t fly back home.
Thai police was not affected by his story; and by the local law the thief faces up to 10 years jail. "