Next in importance comes a mountain range, but here there is often difficulty as to the definition of the actual crest-line, and mountain ranges being broad regions, it may happen that a small independent state, like Switzerland or Andorra, occupies the mountain valleys between two or more great countries.
Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar
By France and Andorra, E.
Seo de Urgel, near the headwaters of the Segre, is a fortified city which has been an episcopal see since 840, and has had a close historical connexion with Andorra (q.v.).
ANDORRA, or Andorre, a small, neutral, autonomous, and semi-independent state, on the Franco-Spanish frontier, and chiefly on the peninsular side of the eastern Pyrenees.
Andorra is surrounded by mountains, and comprises one main valley, watered by the Gran Balira, Valira or Balire, a tributary of the Segre, which itself flows into the Ebro; with several smaller valleys, the most important being that of the Balira del Orien, which joins the Gran Balira on the left.
The only roads are bridle-paths, and one municipal road by the Balira valley, connecting Andorra with the high road to Seo de Urgel and Manresa; but in 1904 France and Spain agreed to build a railway from Ax to Ripoll, which would greatly facilitate traffic.
Andorra comprises the six parishes or communes of Andorra Vicilla, Canillo, Encamp, La Massana, Ordino and San Julian de Loria, which are subdivided into fifty-two hamlets or pueblos.
Preserved from innovations by the mutual jealousy of rival potentates, as well as by the conservative temper of a pastoral population, Andorra has kept its medieval usages and institutions almost unchanged.
The archives are mostly kept in the "house of the valley" in the capital, Andorra Vicilla, a struggling village of 600 inhabitants.
Andorra is the sole surviving specimen of the independence possessed in medieval times by the warlike inhabitants of many Pyrenean valleys.
Thus Andorra is not a republic, but is designated in official documents as the Vallees et Suzerainetes.
The claims of the bishopric dated from Carolingian times, and the independence of Andorra, like most other Pyrenean anomalies, has been traditionally ascribed to Charlemagne (742-814).
Blade (Paris, 1875), the standard books on Andorra deal mainly with its history and institutions.
They comprise the following: - The Valley of Andorra, translated from the French of E.
Aviles Arnau, El Pallas y Andorra (Barcelona, 1893); L.
The ethnology, folk-lore, institutions and history of the Pyrenean region form an interesting study: see Andorra; Aragon; Basques; Bearn; Catalonia; Navarre.