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Catalan Language Catalan Culture: Andorra History

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Historical Timeline for Andorra - A chronology of key events
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Andorra Timeline[edit | edit source]

Prehistoria of Andorra[edit | edit source]

No remains have been found that demonstrate the existence of a population during the Paleolithic.
But there is evidence that the area was inhabited in Neolithic times (3500 BC - 2000 BC) small groups of people lived near the Valira River, especially in the parish of Sant Julià de Lòria. Other small groups live in caves in Cima de Pal, in Roque de Llunsí, in La Massana and in Arinsal. In 1959 the oldest skeleton found in Andorra was discovered.
Little by little, with the installation of villages at the foot of the Sierra de Enclar, in the Robleda de Cedre and other points they pass to the Bronze Culture, also progressing in the megalithic, as shown by some dolmen in Encamp, rock engravings such as the from the Rock of Les Bruixes, Prats, Ordino and la Massana. Iberian coins from this period have also been found in Sant Julià de Lòria.

From ancient times to the middle ages[edit | edit source]

It is known that the ancient Iberians, Celts, Carthaginians and Romans who occupied the Mediterranean coast used Andorra as a refuge from battles. Remains of coins and paintings show the presence of these peoples. As for the language, this one, in the Valleys, was originally and with great probability a Basque-Iberian type as evidenced by part of Andorran toponymy, with Basque consonances.

Beginning of the foundation of the country[edit | edit source]

714[edit | edit source]

Around this time the Visigoths, current invaders of Andorra, will be eliminated by other invaders, the Muslims.

788[edit | edit source]

The most exhaustive data suggest that the Andorran territory was consolidated by Charlemagne, who according to tradition, fought against the Arab army in the Querol Valley. Initially the Arabs were winning, but a group of Andorran mountaineers, under the command of Marc Almugàver and coming from the valleys of the Valira River, appeared in Pimorent and Campcardós to help Charlemagne's armies to fight against the Arabs.
The grateful emperor granted his protection to Andorra and declared it a sovereign people (788). The emperor donated tithes and other rights to the bishops of Urgel.
There is a Charter of the foundation of Andorra, which is preserved in the Archives of the Principality, granted by Charlemagne to his son Luis, which is not accepted by all historians because it was drawn up at a much later time. This document affirms that the Andorrans were their tributaries, although they did not have to pay more than "a fish" as a tribute, a curious fact that refers for the first time to the trout of the Valira River.

Epoch of the Counts[edit | edit source]

817[edit | edit source]

Andorra, like Urgel and Cerdanya, come under the Carolingian Sovereignty.

823-877[edit | edit source]

During the reign of Carlos el Calvo, the Carolingian empire was dismembered and this king ceded Andorra to Sunifredo I, Count of Cerdaña and Urgel.

839[edit | edit source]

It is time to remake the Pyrenees regions. The first indisputable document regarding the history of Andorra is the Act of Consecration and Endowment of the Cathedral of the Seo de Urgel, where for the first time the valley of Andorra and its parish division are mentioned as dependents of that diocese, at the same time as the religious relationship with the Seo de Urgel is confirmed.
Throughout this century and the next, through purchases or exchanges, the successors of the Counts of Urgel expanded their properties in Andorra.

1133[edit | edit source]

Count Ermengol VI of Urgel cedes to Bishop Pere Berenguer and to the Cathedral of Urgel, all the rights he has or may have in the Valleys of Andorra, "in perpetuity and without any reservation", and the inhabitants of the Valleys are ordered to swear fidelity to the bishop and his successors and to punctually observe their duties as good vassals. The territorial domain of the bishops of Urgel is then transformed into an episcopal lordship, but conflicts soon arise ...

1162[edit | edit source]

With Bishop Bernat Sanç a concord had to be signed on the appointment of the Batlles in exchange for the commitment to an annual tribute.

1176[edit | edit source]

A new concord with Bishop Arnau de Preixens completes and clarifies the previous one.
The unstable situation suffered by both France and Spain during the Middle Ages with the internal struggles between the small kingdoms and the constant invasions of the Arabs, forced the Counts of Urgel to request help and agree an alliance with the counts of Caboet, to protect Andorran parishes.

1096[edit | edit source]

Guitard Isarn de Caboet swears allegiance.

1110[edit | edit source]

Guillem Guitard does.

1159[edit | edit source]

Arnau de Caboet also does it to Bishop Bernat Sanç. Where this union is consolidated by which, as compensation, it promises to share the domain of the Principality.

1185[edit | edit source]

Arnaua, eldest daughter of the House of Caboet, marries Arnau de Castellbó, which links this surname to the destinations of Andorra.

1201[edit | edit source]

Bishop Bernat de Vilamur grants Viscount Arnau de Castellbó and his only daughter and heir Ermessanda, the investiture of the Andorra Valley, in exchange for their oath of fidelity.

1208[edit | edit source]

Ermessanda marries the Count of Foix, Roger Bernat II. Marriage alliances further magnify the House of Foix.

1257[edit | edit source]

Roger Bernat III marries Margarida de Bearn.
Time of conflicts where Pedro III the Great of Aragon supports the bishop's rights, while his brother Jaume II of Mallorca, Roussillon and Sardinia, married to Esclarmonda (Roger Bernat III's sister), protects his brother-in-law, the Count of Foix.

1278[edit | edit source]

On September 8, in Lleida, an agreement is signed, bound by Pere II of Catalonia, between the Count of Foix and the Bishop of Urgel, by which the latter gives up part of his rights and both remain as co-sovereigns of Andorra. This agreement is known as the "first pariatge", a very important event in the history of the Principality.

1288[edit | edit source]

On December 6, both brothers sign a "segon pariatge". The Andorrans thus have two sovereigns.

Modern age[edit | edit source]

Time of Conquests and Invasions
The changing political life of the 16th century also affected Andorra. Monarchs and nobles viewed it without much interest, using it only as an exchange for firmer political strategies.
Several times it was invaded by various kings. The Catholic Monarchs annexed it to the crown, after the battle against the Dukes of Foix and during the reign of Carlos V, Andorra was returned to the House of Foix.

1589[edit | edit source]

Henry III, King of Navarre and Count of Foix, becomes King of France, under the name of Henry IV.

1607[edit | edit source]

Louis XIII, successor of Henry IV, incorporated the county of Foix to the Crown of France, a fact that made him co-prince of Andorra with the bishop of Urgel, a dignity that, two centuries later, when the monarchy of France disappeared, passed to the successive heads of state.
In the early years of the 18th century, Andorra managed to remain neutral in the War of the Spanish Succession.

1715[edit | edit source]

The bishop of Urgel, Simeó de Guinda, dictates various norms in which the Consuls of the Valleys of Andorra were instructed not to obey any order that was not issued by the King of France or himself.
The Solidez of Andorra

1748[edit | edit source]

The “Manual Digest” appears, a compilation of the uses and customs of Andorra, made by the most prominent Andorran of the Enlightenment, Antoni Fiter i Rossell, a doctor of law and nature from Ordino.

1763[edit | edit source]

Mosén Antoni Puig, a native of Les Escaldes, writes another work based on the history of Andorra inspired by that of Dr. Fiter i Rossell, entitled “Politar Andorrà”, a description of the privileges of the Principality and the powers of the authorities among other topics .

1789[edit | edit source]

The outbreak of the French Revolution leaves Andorra between two powers, France and Spain, continuously at odds.

1793[edit | edit source]

On January 21, when Louis XVI was beheaded, the "pariatge" was interrupted and France decided to renounce all the seigniorial rights it had over Andorra and not accept the payment of the Qüestia.

1794[edit | edit source]

In the middle of the war with Spain, a French detachment penetrated to Soldeu in an attempt to occupy the Seo de Urgel.

1806[edit | edit source]

At the request of the Andorrans, Napoleon I reestablished the positions of Veguer and French Batlle, the Qüestia and the customs exemptions granted years ago by Louis XV.
This definitive reestablishment of the co-ownership marks the beginning of a new era in the history of Andorra. It could be said that the Valleys of Andorra open up to the world.
The first books emerge, of which the "Relation on the Valley of Andorra" by Fray Tomas Junoy should be highlighted.

1848[edit | edit source]

Halevy's opera "La Vallée d'Andorre" opens in Paris.

1852[edit | edit source]

The zarzuela "El Valle de Andorra" by maestro Gaztambide is premiered in Madrid.

1866[edit | edit source]

Guillem de Plandolit i de Areny, noble and wealthy owner, heads the “Nova Reforma” (New Reform), which was accepted by Bishop Josep Caixal i Estradé on April 14 of the same year. This profound reform of the institutions grants a more active participation to the people in the government of the country. The “Consell General” (General Council) will be made up of 24 “consellers” (directors) who will be chosen from among the “Síndics”.

Twentieth century[edit | edit source]

The institutions maintain their spirit and are curiously respected, such as the Civil Justice, administered by "batlles", appeals judge and superior courts; the Criminal, by the "Tribual de Corts"; and the Administrative - neighbor to neighbor cases - by the "Court of Veeduria".

1899[edit | edit source]

The Highway Administrative Board is formed.

1914[edit | edit source]

The first road that communicated Andorra with the Seo de Urgel is built.

1914[edit | edit source]

The Virgin of Meritxell is declared Patroness of the Valleys of Andorra.

1921[edit | edit source]

On September 8, the archbishop of Tarragona with the bishop co-prince, canonically crown the image of the Mare de Déu de Meritxell. This day is proclaimed as the National Holiday of the Principality.
1928 - The Spanish government creates a postal service between Andorra and publishes stamps on Andorran items. France will do the same three years later.

1929[edit | edit source]

The first electrical installations are created.

1933[edit | edit source]

The route of the road that communicated with the Seo de Urgel to Pas de la Casa, on the border with France, is completed.

1933[edit | edit source]

On June 10, the “Tribunal de les Corts” dismisses the “Consell” and the permanent delegates of the co-princes call elections. The electoral system was reformed on July 17, the date from which any man over the age of 30 could be elected, and all men over the age of 25 had the right to vote.

1935[edit | edit source]

The “Consell General” agrees to grant a radio station: “Radio Andorra”.

1936-1945[edit | edit source]

(Spanish Civil War and World War II)
Andorra continues with its strict neutrality and welcomed the continuous arrival of political refugees and immigrants.

1943[edit | edit source]

The last execution takes place in the lands of the Valleys of a condemned to death.
The standard of living in the Principality begins to be that of a modern country. The population doubles in twelve years and reached 12,199 inhabitants in 1964.
The great commercial and tourist development also begins as a consequence of the increase in the standard of living. The first facilities for the practice of winter sports are developed. Skiing is declared a national sport. New generations of Andorrans trained abroad are beginning to emerge.

1967[edit | edit source]

Co-Prince Charles de Gaulle is enthusiastically received in the Principality.

1968[edit | edit source]

The " Caixa Andorrana de Seguretat Social " (CASS) is established and the automatic telephone service and telex are inaugurated.

1970[edit | edit source]

The electoral law is reformed again and women win the right to vote.

1973[edit | edit source]

The first meeting of the two co-princes since the 13th century, SS. USA Joan Martí i Alanis and George Pompidou.

1978[edit | edit source]

The parish of Escaldes-Engordany is separated from that of Andorra la Vella and becomes the seventh civil parish of the Principality.

1982[edit | edit source]

On January 14, the first Andorran Government was constituted, chaired by Mr. Òscar Ribas.

1984[edit | edit source]

The Prime Minister resigns (Prime Minister).

1989[edit | edit source]

Nationalist candidates triumph in elections.

1990 and 1992[edit | edit source]

Andorra signs an agreement with the European Economic Community, the Penal Code is approved and the population census increases dramatically.

1993[edit | edit source]

Andorra lives its great splendor, with the approval of the Constitution and the entry into the United Nations Organization and its entities.
At present, Andorra is consolidated as a great tourist center both in the commercial sense and in the practice of winter and mountain sports.
The ancestral Co-princes continue to represent the Head of State in Andorra, but it can be said that both the Bishop of Urgel and the President of the French Republic, reign but do not govern in Andorra and represent the Principality although it maintains its autonomy. Both have a permanent representative for Andorra.


Source[edit | edit source]

World Timelines[edit source]

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