El gran Carlemany

"El gran Carlemany" (pronounced [el ˈɣɾaŋ kaɾleˈmaɲ]; The Great Charlemagne) is the national anthem of the Principality of Andorra. Enric Marfany Bons composed the music, while the lyrics were authored by Joan Benlloch i Vivó, written in a first-person narrative from the point of view of Andorra. It was adopted as the national anthem on 8 September 1921, which is also the national day of Andorra. The lyrics make reference to several key aspects of Andorran culture and history, such as the heritage of the Carolingian Empire.

El gran Carlemany
English: The Great Charlemagne
Bandera de Andorra.jpg

National anthem of Andorra
LyricsJuan Benlloch i Vivó
MusicEnric Marfany Bons
Adopted8 September 1921
Audio sample


Catalan original[1][2][3] Catalan IPA[a] Spanish French English translation

El gran Carlemany, mon pare,
dels alarbs em[b] deslliurà,
i del cel vida em donà
de Meritxell, la gran Mare.

Princesa nasquí i pubilla
entre dos[c] nacions, neutral;
sols resto l'única filla
de l'imperi Carlemany.

Creient i lliure onze segles,
creient i lliure vull ser.
Siguin els furs mos tutors
𝄆 i mos Prínceps defensors! 𝄇

[el ɣɾaŋ kaɾ.le.ˈmaɲ | mon ˈpa.ɾe |]
[ðelz a.ˈlabz em ðez.ʎiw.ˈɾa |]
[i ðel ˈsɛl ˈβi.ða‿m ðo.ˈna]
[ðe me.ɾi.ˈt͡ɕeʎ la ɣɾan ˈma.ɾe ǁ]

[pɾin.ˈse.za nas.ˈki‿i pu.ˈbi.ʎa]
[ˈen.tɾe ðos na.ˈsjonz | new.ˈtɾal |]
[sɔl ˈres.to ˈlu.ni.ka ˈfi.ʎa]
[ðe lim.ˈpɛ.ɾi kaɾ.le.ˈmaɲ ǁ]

[kɾe.ˈjen i ˈʎiw.ɾe ˈon.ze ˈse.ɡles |]
[kɾe.ˈjen i ˈʎiw.ɾe ˈβuʎ ˈse ǁ]
[ˈsi.ɣin els fuz mos tu.ˈtos]
𝄆 [i mos ˈpɾin.seps de.fen.ˈsos ǁ] 𝄇

El gran Carlomagno, mi padre,
me liberó de los árabes,
Y del cielo vida me dio
de Meritxell, la gran Madre.

Princesa nací y heredera
entre dos naciones, neutral;
soy la única hija que queda
del imperio Carlomagno.

Creyente y libre once siglos,
creyente y libre quiero ser.
¡Sean los fueros mis tutores
𝄆 y mis Príncipes defensores! 𝄇

Le Grand Charlemagne mon père
nous délivra des arabes
et du ciel me donna la vie,
de Meritxell la grande Mère.

Je suis née princesse héritière
neutre entre deux nations;
je reste la seule fille
de l'empire Charlemagne.

Croyante et libre onze siècles,
croyante et libre je veux demeurer.
Que les fueros soient mes tuteurs
𝄆 et mes Princes mes défenseurs ! 𝄇

The great Charlemagne, my father,
liberated me from the Saracens,
and from heaven he gave me life
of Meritxell, the great Mother.

I was born a princess and heiress
between two nations, neutral;
I am the only remaining daughter
of the Charlemagne empire.

Faithful and free for eleven centuries,
Faithful and free I want to be.
May the laws be my tutors
𝄆 and my Princes defenders! 𝄇


"El Gran Carlemany" was composed by Enric Marfany Bons (1871–1942),[10] who was a priest.[11] The lyrics to the song were penned by Juan Benlloch i Vivó (1864–1926), who served as the Bishop of Urgell from 1906 to 1919. This position also made him an ex officio Co–Prince of Andorra.[11][12] The song was officially designated as the country's national anthem on September 8, 1921,[13][14] when it was sung at the country's cathedral for the first time.[15] The day it was adopted – September 8[11] – is the National Day of Andorra. This coincides with the feast day of Our Lady of Meritxell, the country's patron saint who is mentioned in the lyrics.[13]

Context of lyricsEdit

The lyrics of "El Gran Carlemany" give a short account of Andorra's history "in a first-person narrative".[13] It recounts the traditional Andorran legend that Charlemagne reconquered the region from the Moors between 788[16] and 790, after the Catalan people had guided his army through the rugged valleys, which Charlemagne compensated with granting Andorra its independence,[17] and its first borders were delineated that same year.[16] It formed part of the Marca Hispanica, a buffer zone formed by Charlemagne in order to protect his state (the Carolingian Empire).[18] According to legend, he was responsible for restructuring the country, reintroducing Christianity to its people and overseeing the construction of monasteries. Because of these accomplishments, he was given "a mythical aura" and is regarded as the founder of Andorra.[19]

The hymn begins with "El gran Carlemany mon pare" ("Great Charlemagne my father"),[20] and memorializes this view and celebrates the country's status as "the only remaining daughter of the Carolingian empire,"[21] since it is the only remnant of the Marca Hispanica.[18]


  1. ^ See Help:IPA/Catalan and Catalan phonology.
  2. ^ Sometimes written me,[4][5] which is the forma plena ("full form") of the weak (unstressed) first person singular personal pronoun, usually appended with a hyphen to verbs ending in a consonant when they are infinitives, gerunds or positive imperatives, while em is the forma reforçada ("reinforced form"), usually used before verbs starting with a consonant when they are conjugated or negative imperatives, but in some varieties of Catalan, it is replaced with the full form.[6]
  3. ^ Sometimes written dues,[7][8] which, although the feminine form in other varieties of Catalan, is not used in the Northwestern Catalan of Andorra.[9]


  1. ^ "The anthem of the Principality of Andorra". www.consellgeneral.ad. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2021-12-23.
  2. ^ "SYMBOLES PRINCIPAUTE ANDORRE Andorra Ambassade Andorre Culture Andorre tourisme". www.andorra.be. Archived from the original on 2005-04-28. Retrieved 2021-12-23.
  3. ^ "Himno nacional del Principado de Andorra". www.andorramania.net. Archived from the original on 2006-06-12. Retrieved 2021-12-23.
  4. ^ Freedman, Paul H. (1999). Images of the Medieval Peasant. Stanford University Press. p. 366. ISBN 978-0-8047-3373-1.
  5. ^ Escholier, Raymond (1962). Mes Pyrénées de Gavarnie au Canigou (in French). Arthaud. p. 165.
  6. ^ "Gramàtica essencial de la llengua catalana - Institut d'Estudis Catalans". geiec.iec.cat. Retrieved 2022-01-02.
  7. ^ Davies, Norman (2011-10-27). Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe. Penguin Books Limited. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-14-196048-7.
  8. ^ El camí de Sant Jaume i Catalunya: actes del Congrés Internacional celebrat a Barcelona, Cervera i Lleida, els dies 16, 17 i 18 d'octubre de 2003 (in Catalan). Publicacións de l'Abadia de Montserrat. 2007. p. 104. ISBN 978-84-8415-820-2.
  9. ^ Jornada, Associaó d'amics del professor Antoni M. Badia i Margarit (2005). Els mètodes en dialectologia: continuïtat o alternativa? (in Catalan). Institut d'Estudis Catalans. p. 165. ISBN 978-84-7283-798-0. In Ibizan and Western Catalan, on the other hand, after a period of coexistence, dos has triumphed as the feminine ...
  10. ^ Xavier Maugendre (1996). L'Europe des hymnes dans leur contexte historique et musical. Editions Mardaga. p. 145. ISBN 978-2-87009-632-1.
  11. ^ a b c Augustin (2008), p. 99.
  12. ^ Lichfield, John (September 2, 2006). "The Not-so-Rough Guide to Andorra – The land that Europe forgot". The Independent. London. pp. 26–27. Retrieved May 7, 2014. (subscription required)
  13. ^ a b c "Andorra". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  14. ^ "Country's Profile – Andorra". Sochi2014.com. Sochi 2014 Olympics. Archived from the original on April 6, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  15. ^ Principat D'Andorra, 1278–1978: È Centenari de la Signatura Dels Pareatges – Recull Oficial D'informació. Casa de la Vall. 1978.
  16. ^ a b Geyer, Helen (November 2013). "Sprachpolitik und-praxis in Andorra" (PDF). Interlinguistische Informationen (in German). Diputació de Girona. 20: 68. ISSN 1432-3567. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  17. ^ Principat D'Andorra, 1278–1978: È Centenari de la Signatura Dels Pareatges : Recull Oficial D'informació. Casa de la Vall. 1978.
  18. ^ a b Shelley, Fred M. (April 23, 2013). Nation Shapes: The Story Behind the World's Borders. ABC–CLIO. p. 8. ISBN 9781610691062.
  19. ^ Pineda, Enric Bassegoda (2010). "Carlemany No Va Conquerir Girona". Revista de Girona (in Catalan). Diputació de Girona. 261: 39. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  20. ^ Gale Group; Moshe Y. Sachs (1984). Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations. Gale Group. p. 9. ISBN 9780471886228.
  21. ^ McDonogh, Gary (September 28, 2010). Iberian Worlds. Routledge. ISBN 9781135936969.

External linksEdit