Andorra stamps reflect the rather interesting stature of this tiny "principality", located in the Eastern Pyrenees Mountains, between Spain and France. With only 180 square miles in area and a population of about 85,000 (5,000 in 1900), Andorra is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe. The nation is located in very mountainous terrain, having an Alpine climate. The official language is Catalan, though Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also spoken by significant percentages of the population.
Officially, the nation is called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra. It is called a principality, as it is technically a monarchy, jointly administrated by two "co-princes". Today, Andorra is an internally self-governing nation, with its own parliament, called the "Council General", however the heads-of-state are the Spanish Bishop of Urgell and the President of France.
The Count of Urgell gave the Andorran valleys to the Diocese of Urgell in 988, thus the Bishop of Urgell is actually the "owner or prince" of Andorra. In order to maintain their territorial integrity though, Andorra needed armed protection from external aggressors. The Principality of Andorra was created in 1278, by the provisions of a treaty providing that dual sovereignty be established over the territory by the Spanish Bishop of Urgell and the French monarchy. The modern nation of Andorra does maintain its own small army, but it exists basically for ceremonial purposes.
Before 1928, Andorrans sent their letters and packages from post offices across the border in Spain or France, using the postage stamps of those countries. Since 1931, the postage stamps of Andorra have been issued by both the Spanish and the French administrations, and, before the Euro appeared at the beginning of the 21st Century, the Spanish Peseta and the French Franc circulated as the dual currencies of Andorra.
The first Spanish administration stamps for Andorra were created in 1928, by overprinting the contemporary definitive postage stamps of the Kingdom of Spain. The first printed Spanish administration pictorial definitive postage stamps for Andorra were not actually issued until 1948.
The first French administration stamps for Andorra were created in
1931, by overprinting the contemporary definitive postage stamps of the the Republic of France. The first printed French administration pictorial
definitive postage stamps for Andorra were issued, beginning in 1932.
As far as stamps for supplemental fees, very few of them have been issued for Andorra.
The Spanish administration issued four airmail stamps, between 1951 and 1985, and five special delivery stamps, between 1928 and 1949.
The French administration issued eight airmail stamps, between 1950 and 1964, sixty-two postage due stamps, between 1931 and 1985, and one newspaper stamp in 1931.
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