Freemasonry flourishes in the unlikeliest of places.
The principality of Andorra is one of six tiny sovereign states in Europe referred to as microstates, which also include Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City. It is nestled along the border between Spain and France in the eastern Pyrenees mountains. The current principality was created in 1278 AD, and is a monarchy, jointly governed by two Co-princes - the President of France and the Spanish Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgell. Living in such a cut off region protected the tiny country from most of the wars and conflicts that befell Europe over the centuries, but it also kept the people isolated from much of the outside world.
In 1993, the Andorrans voted to enact a national Constitution which gave the population the right of free association. As a result, the first official Masonic lodge in the country was chartered in 1994 by the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise, followed by a Spanish lodge six months later by the Grand Lodge of Spain.
The Grand Lodge of Andorra was officially consecrated with the agreement of the two foreign grand lodges on September 9th, 2000 at the Sala de Congresos of Andorra. It is made up of just eight Lodges: La Triada Nº1, Sant Joan de les Valls Nº2, Carlemany No 3, Vescomte Arnau de Castellbó Nº4, Montsalvat Nº5, Masonry Universal Nº6, Minerva Nº7 and Els Cavallers d'Envalira Nº8. The first Grand Master Antoni d'Ortadó, a member of the Lodge Sant Joan de les Valls was elected.
The country today is home to approximately 20,000 Andorrans, 45,000 residents from other countries, and is annually visited by 10,000,000 tourists. It is not a member of the European Union.
For more information, see the Grand Lodge of Andorra website.
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