In London on the 24th of June 1717, St. John’s day, in the “Goose and Gridiron”, situated in the courtyard of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, four London Lodges united to found the Grand Lodge of England. This Grand Lodge was the origin of modern masonry and the institution that would primarily recognize the legitimacy of other Lodges established throughout Europe, the British Colonies and subsequently worldwide. The purpose of this new masonry was ethical rather than operative (i.e.building works). To protect the ancient stonemasons of the Middle Ages, those builders of great stone cathedrals where the Great Architect of the Universe could be worshiped, contemporary masonry presented itself as an association to protect human dignity, solidarity and fraternity, having as its objective the moral and cultural perfection of its members through the edification of humanity symbolized by a temple dedicated to virtue. The summary of the ancient habits and customs of the masons, named the “Andersons Constitutions” written by Pastor James Anderson in 1723, is the ideological starting point and written law of the new masonry.
On the 23th of April 1994, two hundred and seventy years after the creation of the Grand Lodge of England, having received all the authorizations from the Andorran government, the first Masonic Lodge in the history of this country was consecrated, dependent upon the National Grand Lodge of France. Less than six months later on the 8th of October the Grand Lodge of Spain created a second Lodge. This was the foundation for Regular Andorran Masonry. However it was not until the 24th of May 1998 supported by the mission entrusted to the National Grand Lodge of France at a conference held on the 19th of February 1997 by the Grand Masters of North America, and with a favorable view from the Grand Lodge of Spain, that the District Grand Lodge of Andorra was created uniting the four Andorran Lodges. These have been created according to the most strict regularity; three from the National Grand Lodge of France, and one from the Grand Lodge of Spain.
The Grand Lodge of Andorra was finally solemnly established and consecrated on the 9th of September 2000 at the “Sala de Congresos” of Andorra. It is made up of 8 Lodges: La Triada Nº1, Sant Joan de les Valls Nº2, Carlemany No 3, Vescomte Arnau de Castellbó Nº4, Montsalvat Nº5, Masonry Universal Nº6, Minerva Nº7 and Els Cavallers d’Envalira Nº8. The first Grand Master Antoni d’Ortadó, a member of the Lodge Sant Joan de les Valls was elected.
Masonry in Andorra started up with no previous history, no tradition or knowledge. How could it be possible that in Andorra at the end on the XX century no one knew anything about such an institution as Freemasonry, which has helped to forward humanity contributing amongst many things, to the Rights of Man?
Since the “paratges” agreements signed in 1278 that guaranteed the independence and recognition of institutions and privileges, Andorra as an independent country has lived through eight centuries of peace, without being involved in any conflicts or wars that throughout the years have affected Europe. To protect this enviable situation, the Andorran, knowledgeable of his country’s characteristics, has always tried to maintain a balance of powers between the two Co-princes. Living in a geographically strategic territory and hidden away, he was able to avoid the wars, but this isolation also cut him off from the outside world.
But times move on, and on the 14th of March of 1993 after much debate and negotiation the Andorran people approved the national Constitution, which signified a radical change in the philosophy of the political organization of the Principality. This Constitution gives the Andorrans the right of association, which has made it possible to create and develop Freemasonry in Andorra.
Since its creation, The Grand Lodge of Andorra follows the ancient tradition of Habits and Customs originating from time immemorial such as the Ancient Craft Landmarks passed on from master to apprentice. These are described in the Andersons Constitutions, which indicate the immutable origin of Universal Freemasonry. It is the only Grand Lodge within the Andorran territory to grant the rank of freemason to men that is recognized and considered regular by the united Grand Lodge of England, the Mother Grand Lodge of all Lodges worldwide and other Grand Lodge of Universal Masonry.
In agreement with the Constitution and General Rules of the Grand Lodge of Andorra, its members must be free and respectable men, who devote themselves to work fraternally towards perfection and the practice of humanitarian principles, and who do so respecting the opinions and beliefs of each other, having been informed prior to this that all political or religious discussion is forbidden.
The Principality of Andorra is the 184th State of the ONU. This country has around 20.000 Andorrans, 45.000 residents of different nationalities and receives an average of 600.000 visitors from around the world. It is in this area that the work of the Grand Lodge of Andorra is developing. The 8 Lodges of Andorra welcome men of different nationalities, languages, culture, religion, race and political beliefs, with the common goals of personal perfection, fellowship and the desire to contribute to the progress of mankind.