Last month I got to visit Andorra as part of a road trip from the south of France to Bilbao in Spain.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as the blogs I’d read on Andorra hadn’t been too enthusiastic about it. Not that there were many. Unless you’re a skier it seems to be a bit of a forgotten destination.
But I went with an open mind and was quite excited about it being a new country for me – my 53rd and, more importantly, at least to me, the first new country of my second half century.
I loved it.
I loved it for many reasons and I’m planning to write another post or two which will go into those reasons. But for now let me tell you about the sculptures.
As a fan of street art in its many forms I fell for Andorra straight away. There are sculptures everywhere. Everywhere.
Some are modern, some are old. Some are traditional and some are just downright odd. But I loved how everywhere I looked I seemed to discover another one.
So here are some pics showing a selection of Andorra’s many street sculptures.
Andorra in Sculptures
This must be the most photographed sculpture in Andorra. Yep, they’ve only got an actual Dalí. It sits by the river near the tourist office in what seems to be the hub of the main town of Andorra la Vella.
This block seems to consist of squished bodies. It stands near to the Dalí sculpture. I’ve labelled it with the exact words from the plaque, but when I’ve googled to try to find out more about it I just get a whole lot of foreign language porn sites. Not sure why that would be, but if anyone can explain it to me please leave a comment below.
These seven human figures represent the seven parishes of Andorra. They are also supposed to be a symbol of peace in the bustling city. They sit in Buddha-like reflection on indiviudal high poles overlooking a busy roundabout and with a view of what feels like the whole of Andorra.
I don’t know what this is called, but it stands by the administrative buildings in Andorra la Vella. The metal cuboid is rusty on the outside and shiny on the inside. The cut-out of a life-sized human figure is the same on all sides allowing a person to squeeze through. I didn’t try this.
Andorra is ruled by Co-Princes from Spain and France. The Bishop of Urgell is one, the President of France is another. Justí Guitart was the Bishop of Urgell and Episcopal Co-Prince of Andorra from 1920-1940.
This one intrigued me, but I couldn’t find any information on it. Is it a businessman with a briefcase? A traveller with a suitcase? Or a refugee with all their worldly possessions? I assume the paper stuck to it and the flowers around the base are referring to the earthquake a few days previously in Fuerza, Mexico, but what the connection is with this sculpture I don’t know.
This reclining woman is on a traffic island in a busy junction in Escaldes-Engordany. I didn’t get close enough to look for a plaque.
This jolly couple are dancing in the old part of Andorra la Vella. I’m struggling to read the writing carved into the plinth (should have taken a separate photo of it), but it says something like ‘a century of new reform, 1866-1966’.
There’s a lot of text below this nativity scene in Escaldes-Engordany. As far as I could make out it’s something to do with a pessebre vivent which seems to be some sort of re-enactment festival held just before Christmas. Again, if anyone can enlighten me further please leave a comment below.
This rather unusual water feature is in Escaldes Engordany.
This lady can be found outside the old church of Sant Pere Màrtir in Escaldes-Engordany. She’s reminiscent of the women who would embroider cushions whilst waiting for the fishermen to come home on the Catalan coast.
This cross on a tall plinth is in the middle of one of the main shopping streets in Andorra la Vella.
These figures are outside the Museu Carmen Thyssen in Escaldes-Engordany.
This giant sweet in the colours of the Andorran flag is outside an administrative building in Escaldes-Engordany.
This pair of complimentary sculptures are located on a roundabout near a road tunnel. The figure of ‘Calidea’ is by the artist Àngel Calvente. It was inspired by legends and myths about water.
‘La Dama de gel’ (ice woman) is by Philip Lavaill. A flow of water connects the two sculptures. In winter the water freezes and looks rather spectacular (I googled for images of it in winter).
There are so many more sculptures in Andorra than the few I’ve shown here. Are you as surprised as I was by this? Share your thoughts in the comments below.