ANDORRA AETERNA

Andorra Aeterna is the first project of Biblioteca Impossible. It is the manuscript record of the origins and creation of the present day Principality of Andorra. Ten centuries of history in forty essential documents: from the Town Charter, granted by the emperors Charlemagne and Louis the Pious to the Andorran citizens in 805 AC, to the Treaty of Pont dels Escalls, signalling the end of the revolution of 1881, signed in Escaldes on 10 June of the same year. The publication also includes the consecration of the La Seu d’Urgell cathedral in 839, the Pariatges (trade unions) of 1278 and 1288 and the manuscripts ‘Manual Digest’ and ‘Politar Andorrano’, from the eighteenth century, as well as other unique documents containing family names. Andorra Aeterna contains facsimile reproductions of the forty most important documents in the history of Les Valls d’Andorra.

Andorra Aeterna is the result of more than three years’ research by the historians Pere Canturri, Susanna Vela, Antoni Ubach and Joan Peruga. During the project, they discovered and selected the forty documents included in this unique publication. These include such famous manuscripts as the two Pariatges (Trade Unions), of 1278 and 1288; the Manual Digest (1748), by Antoni Fiter y Rossell and Politar Andorrano (1763), by Antoni Puig. The manuscripts, parchments and documentation date back to the Town Charter of 805.

The research, conducted on eight archives located in Andorra, Catalonia and France, permitted the discovery of the marriage agreement drawn up between the houses of the County of Foix and the Viscounty of Castelbon, between Ermessinde de Castelbon and Roger Bernat, son of Ramon Roger and heir to the County of Foix. The marriage certificate, signed in Tarascón on 10 January 1202, was found in the Departmental Archives of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Although it was known to exist, it had never before been located or transcribed. The union between the houses of Castelbon and Foix is the origin of modern day Andorra and the co-principality system.

Andorra Aeterna depicts the history of this tiny country situated in the Pyrenees mountains; a history marked by the ability of its inhabitants to adapt to a rugged and harsh environment, and its rulers to govern the territory without renouncing its political and administrative independence, albeit flanked by two major neighbouring powers.

Authorisation was granted by the source archives to reproduce the documents published in Andorra Aeterna, which have now been copied using such advanced techniques that they are identical to the originals. The animal membrane used is manufactured in Italy and is very similar to lambskin parchment.

  • Digitasation

    The original documents are scanned at the highest resolution using the latest photographic digitisation techniques for subsequent processing and copying before printing.

  • Document Printing

    Stochastic screening is used for the document printing process, first selecting the parchment (paper type), and then starting the thermal stamping process, laser punching and ageing of the parchments.

  • Handling and binding

    The final process consists of binding the volume. This is a hand-crafted process, just like in the Middle Ages, sewing up each copy with fabric.

  • The study book

    • La biblioteca imposible - libro de estudios Andorra Aeterna
    • La biblioteca imposible - libro de estudios Andorra Aeterna
    • La biblioteca imposible - libro de estudios Andorra Aeterna
    • La biblioteca imposible - libro de estudios Andorra Aeterna
    • La biblioteca imposible - libro de estudios Andorra Aeterna

    The documents are accompanied by a study book, where they are transcribed and explained by historians, laid out in chronological order.

    • La biblioteca imposible - Andorra aeterna elaboración
    • La biblioteca imposible - Andorra aeterna elaboración
    • La biblioteca imposible - Andorra aeterna elaboración
    • La biblioteca imposible - Andorra aeterna elaboración
  • File

    • Made up of 40 copied landmark documents and the original documents.
    • Measurements: 50 cm x 40 cm x 15 cm.
    • Bound in lambskin on wood and parchment.
    • Documents crafted and aged by hand.
    • Print run: 400 copies.

    Institutions

    The following institutions have collaborated in the publishing of this work.

    • Arxiu Nacional d’Andorra
    • Biblioteca Nacional d’Andorra
    • Arxiu Capitular de la Seu d’Urgell
    • Biblioteca de Catalunya
    • Arxiu de la Corona d’Aragó
    • Archives Nationales de France
    • Archives des Pyrénées-Atlantiques
    • Centre des Archives diplomatiques de Nantes

    Historians

    The following experts have worked on research, study, transcription and writing:

    • Pere Canturri
    • Antoni Ubach
    • Susana Vela
    • Joan Peruga