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.
- Another European railway strike
"The French railway strike is planned on October 8, and Belgium strike will be held the next day.
It is supposed that French train staff will stop working on the evening of October 7 and will resume it by the morning 9 October. The aim of the strike is to attract the attention of the authorities due to the worsened working conditions and also their payment dissatisfaction. To be more precise, the trade unions want to reassure the authorities not to reform the Labor Code and pension payroll system.
Their Belgium colleagues wish to come up with the same requirements. It was also reported that high-speed trains Eurostar will be routed between London and Lille without reaching Brussels due to the strike. Thalys trains connecting Belgium and French capital cities will be canceled. The tourists would better think of an alternative way or choose some other means of transport. "
- China’s glass-bottom bridge appeared to be not as strong as everybody expected
"The glass on the bottom got cracked just underneath the tourists
It is reported that one of the tourists dropped a metal mug on the bridge floor while visiting this new place of interest. It resulted in a glass crack. When this happened all the tourists were immediately evacuated and the bridge itself was closed to the public.
The representatives of the Shiniuzhai geological park, where the bridge is placed state that the accident didn’t threaten the visitors’ security as there was only 1 of the 3 glass layers that got cracked. The glassmaker also agrees that there was nothing to worry about and the glass cracks don’t pose any risk to the tourists. However, it’s hard to believe, but that is not the first material flaw produced by this company. A year ago the glass floor placed at one of the skyscrapers in Chicago got cracked and was supplied by the same company. "