The first and only king of Andorra

rey de andorra

Did you know that Andorra had a king for 13 days? If you’re interested in history and adventure, this article is for you.

The history of the Principality is full of anecdotes and curiosities that make it unique and special. One of them is the story of the 13 days when a man named Boris Skossyreff proclaimed himself king of Andorra in 1934.

Who was Boris Skossyreff?

Boris Skossyreff was an adventurer and swindler born in Vilnius in 1896. Throughout his life, he traveled through various countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, engaging in business and living an adventurous lifestyle. He came from a noble Russian family that distinguished itself in the armies of the tsar.

Boris Skossyreff’s stay in Andorra

Boris Skossyreff’s first stay was in the town of Santa Coloma, near Sant Julià de Lòria, in a house that still stands today and is known as the “House of the Russians.”

In 1934, he arrived in Andorra and presented himself as an exiled Hungarian noble, which allowed him to gain the trust of some inhabitants of the small Pyrenean nation. He engaged in lengthy conversations with peasants, artisans, and Andorran politicians.

On July 8, 1934, Skossyreff declared that he had been chosen by the Andorran people as their new king. He proclaimed himself Boris I and placed an improvised crown on his head. Skossyreff believed that, since Andorra was a country without a recognized head of state, he could seize power without much trouble. However, his attempt to crown himself as a monarch was short-lived and controversial. He was deported to France after only 13 days on the throne. Although some Andorrans initially supported him, doubts about his true identity and intentions soon arose. Additionally, the French government, which had significant influence over Andorra at the time, was not willing to tolerate the presence of an unrecognized king in the region.

Skossyreff’s story has been used on several occasions as a tool for tourist marketing.

Despite his brief reign, Boris Skossyreff is still remembered in Andorra as a historical curiosity. While his attempt to become the king of Andorra was a failure, his story showcases the unique and surprising character of the Principality.

Lastly, Skossyreff’s story has also been used on several occasions as a tool for tourist marketing. Some companies in the tourism industry have created tours and routes that visit the places where he lived and acted during his short reign, generating interest and curiosity among tourists visiting Andorra.