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Andorra

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Souvenirs from Andorra

The Principality of Andorra is a miniscule country in the Pyrenees Mountains, sandwiched by France and Spain. Many visitors come to the country every year to enjoy tax-free shopping on luxury goods, antiques, electronics, and clothing in the close to 4,000 shops. Those who are searching for authentic Andorran souvenirs will want to purchase a musicature. This is a special type of carving, done with the point of a knife into wood, leather and metal, with specialized motifs. These may be small pieces, or used to decorate a section of a larger object. Pinewood furniture, hand carved by artisans, is another popular souvenir from Andorra, but maybe difficult to pack in a suitcase. Ironwork, such as scrolled gates, utensils and small decor, and glazed pottery are also found in the outdoor markets. Of course, you can always find T-shirts, refrigerator magnets, shot glasses, postcards, and key chains to commemorate and share your Andorran vacation.

Facts about Andorra

Andorra is the sixth smallest nation in Europe, with an area of only 482 square kilometers and a population of 84,000. It also has the distinction of having the highest capital in Europe, sitting at 1,023 meters. The 10 million tourists who visit the country every year will hear the Catalan tongue spoken, but many people also speak French, Spanish and Portuguese. Tradition states that Charlemagne granted a charter to the Andorrans in the 8th century, but the government wasn't officially formed until 1278, when Aragon mediated a truce between two factions, with each having joint control. Since then, the country has had a monarchy with two rulers. In the 20th century, France controlled Andorra for a number of years to prevent civil unrest. The country revamped its political systems in 1993, as a result of a tourism boom and greater exposure to the rest of Europe.

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