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Urgell (Catalan: Comtat d'Urgell) is one of the historical Catalan counties, bordering on the counties of Pallars and Cerdanya. The county was carved by the Franks out of a former section of the Mark of Toulouse when the Alt Urgell area became part of the Carolingian Empire between 785 and 790.[1]

The original territory was made up of the Alt Urgell, also known as Urgellet from the end of the 12th century onwards, with the see at La Seu d'Urgell. From 839 onwards it would include 129 villages, the valleys of the Valira river, namely Andorra and Sant Joan Fumat, the Segre riverine area as well as the valleys located between El Pont de Bar and Oliana.[2]

Its maximal extension territory was between the Pyrenees and the taifa of Lleida, that is, the current comarques of Alt Urgell or Urgellet, Noguera, Solsonès, Pla d'Urgell, Baix Urgell and the still independent country of Andorra. The historical capital was first la Seu d'Urgell and later Balaguer. The county of Urgell was extinguished and absorbed by the County of Barcelona in 1413, after the revolt of the last count, James II of Urgell, against the king Ferdinand I of Aragon.

There is also a diocese of Urgell. The diocese was an old one, and traditions of the early Christian church lingered; Felix of Urgel's tendencies towards the heretical position of adoptionism was attacked by Alcuin of York in Contra Felicem (Runciman, 1947). Andorra was ceded to the bishop of Urgell by the count Ermengol IV of Urgell in the twelfth century. There is still a bishop of Urgell, who since 2003 has been Joan Enric Vives Sicília. This role carries with it the position of joint head of state of Andorra.

See also

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