Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Andorra (Spanish Post Office)

The principality of Andorra lies in the centre of the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. It is one of the smaller states in Europe, but it has an impressive and unique history. The valleys of Andorra have been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. Somehow they always managed to escape being invaded and conquered.

In 988 the lands were given to the Diocese of Urgell in Spain with the bishop becoming the ruler of the territory. A century later the bishop needed military protection. He turned to a neighbouring Lord for protection and they agreed to share the sovereignty over Andorra. A few generations later the Count of Foix was the successor of the Lord and both sovereigns signed a treaty in 1278, known as the paréage. Eventually the Count of Foix became King of France. Nowadays the bithop of Seo d'Urgell and the president of France, as successor to the kings, are both co-prince of Andorra.

The French and Spanish influence led to the use of two currencies and also to two post offices. Both the French and Spanish post issue stamps, have their own post offices and mailboxes in the street. For my collection I sent envelopes to both post offices with some stamps I bought earlier.

The postmark on the envelope from the Spanish post office is in line with the touristic and postal cancellations that Correos is providing in most tourist centres and towns. The special postmark (Matasellos turístico) is new, the first day was 3 April 2017. It shows on the left the Church of San Esteve (11th-12th Century) and on the right the modern Caldea Andorra spa centre (1994). In the background are the mountains surrounding the capital city.

Although I sent both envelopes to Andorra on the same date and they were both cancelled on the same date, the Spanish Andorran envelope arrived one day later.

Stamps and postmarks of Andorra can be found on the website of Correos, the Spanish post: correos.es/pagina-filatelia.

Date sent: 3 May 2017
Date postmark: 12 May 2017
Date received: 17 May 2017
Number of days: 14
Envelope in collection: 65

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