World Heritage in Andorra
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“Cultural heritage is one of the main testaments to the history, identity and creativity of a country.” (Art. 34, Constitution of the Principality of Andorra).
Among the multitude of cultural and natural assets of Andorra, there are several that have attained a special status and of which we are particularly proud: The Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley, The Ordino Valley and the Falles of Andorra la Vella. All of them are part of the World Heritage List, drawn up by the UNESCO to protect natural and cultural assets.
The Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley, which was declared World Heritage in the cultural landscape category in 2004, is a very representative microcosm of the way people have harvested the resources of the Pyrenees mountain range for millennia. The landscapes of the Valley are witnesses not only to climate change on the planet, but also to changes to the economic and social systems of its inhabitants. The area, the only one in Andorra without any roads, is home to several human habitats, in particular the summer settlements of shepherds and terraced fields, stone pathways and the remains of iron casting works.
The Falles of Andorra have been included in the category of Intangible Heritage since December 2015, and were part of Andorra’s candidacy for the “Fire festival of the summer solstice in the Pyrenees.” This was a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary project that brought together 63 municipalities in Catalonia, Aragon, Andorra and the south of France and has the official support of three countries (France, Spain and Andorra). The ancient tradition of Falles, which involves swinging luminous balls of fire in the night, is revived every year to celebrate the Midsummer Eve.
Ordino, named a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO
Ordino has been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since October 2020, as it is one of the areas in Andorra which has known how to conserve its natural environment best. Ordino is a great example of perfect integration of both society and nature: despite being divided into 8 different towns, their rural customs and traditions peacefully coexist with the latest technology and equipment, sustainable public transport and premium accommodation and food services for the whole family. Finally, lovers of outdoor sports will find Ordino the ideal place to engage in their favourite activities, given that the valley has unique natural landscapes all year round.
As recognition of this, Ordino has now been included in the World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) list of Best Tourism Villages, serving as international recognition of the its status as a rural destination that is committed to nature, the environment and sustainable development through tourism, which acts as the parish's main axis of development.