Boris Skossyreff

Boris Mikhailovich Skossyreff was a White Russian adventurer who attempted to seize the monarchy of the Principality of Andorra during the early 1930s, styling himself Boris I of Andorra. He assumed the throne with support from the local citizens and government, before being deposed by neighboring Spanish authorities and fading into obscurity. Skossyreff was born on June 12, 1896, in Vilna, Lithuania part of the Russian Empire, belonging to a family of the Russian gentry who had distinguished themselves in the armies of the Tsar of Russia. Not much is known of the life of Skossyreff before his arrival in Andorra. From historical documents, it is known that, when the Russian revolution of 1917 broke out, he sought political asylum in England, where he enlisted for around two years in the British army. Following his service, Skossyreff served in the British Foreign office through several missions which took him to Siberia and the United States, he was noted by his superiors for his gift for languages, which gave him an ability to connect with foreigners.

In 1925, Skossyreff's period with the Foreign office came to an end, he moved to the Netherlands, where he claimed to work in the Dutch Royal Houshold, claimed to have been rewarded by Wilhelmina of the Netherlands with the title of "Count of Orange". Skossyreff took up residence in the village of Santa Coloma d'Andorra, near Sant Julià de Lòria It was during this first visit that Boris was said to begin planning his'coup', being said to have had extensive conversations with peasants and politicians in Andorra. On the 17th of May, 1934, Boris presented a document laden with his suggestions to the former court prosecutor and other advisers to the Government of Andorra, in which he justified his intentions, but received a harsh response, entailing: "that he does not meddle in political affairs in the Valleys. Recurrent" Boris "exiled" in La Seu d'Urgell and settled in the Hotel Mundial, where he was said to begin to behave like an authentic monarch. Skossyreff came into contact with several legitimate royal groups in the south of France.

In Perpignan, he managed to have his plans reach the representative of Prince Jean d'Orleáns, Duke of Guise, pretender to the throne of France. His argument was based on the fact that the French heads of state continued to have the rights and functions of co-princes from Andorra, as the Duke claimed to be the'rightful' King of France, he had rights over Andorra During this period of waiting, Skossyreff granted visits, made official receptions and organised numerous events, such as a mass by the Catalan president Francesc Macià, who died the previous winter, he was seen walking around with monocle and a baton, adopting the character of a rightful monarch. On during his exile, Skossyreff released an innovative constitution for Andorra that had modified the traditional Andorran political system; the Co-principality would have freedoms, money, foreign investments and the recognition of a tax haven. Boris printed ten thousand copies of his Constitution, addressed French celebrities. One of them, who ended up at the hands of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell, Justí Guitart i Vilardebó, caused uproar among his close circle, where he reaffirmed that the only co-princes of Andorra were he and the President of the French Republic.

On Sunday the 7th of July, 1934, the Attorney General of the Valleys of Andorra convened the General Council of the Valleys at the Casa dos Vales. The prosecutor starts to expose the matter. Boris Skossyreff, a Russian exile who visited Andorra and proclaimed himself Count d'Orange had met with him to propose a revolutionary change to the Principality's economic structures; as in the examples of Monaco, San Marino or Luxembourg - the other European principalities - tax havens where taxes were nonexistent or reduced. The attorney general affirmed that the dynamic outsider was committed to making Andorra one of the most important business centers. In the world, where banks, financial entities and international companies would not waste time installing their social domicile there, taking advantage of the tax regime. Skossyreff asked for a reward in return for his gift to the Andorran people. Boris's proposal was entirely supported by the Chamber, with the exception of one representative, the Mayor of Encamp.

With only one adviser against the remaining twenty-three who formed the Council, the monarchy was instituted. Accompanied by a faithful group of dedicated collaborators made up of his young English partner, the American millionaire Florence Mazmon and the counselor and attorney Pere Torras Ribas, the proclaimed Boris, I settled in Calons de Sant Julià de Lòria. On the same day as his appointment, France announced, they agreed to leave all decisions to the General Council and consider Boris I's monarchy to be valid if it were approved. France's little interest in the subject a

L√ľneburg Kalkberg

The Lüneburg Kalkberg is the cap rock of a salt dome in the western part of the German town of Lüneburg. The Kalkberg was a gypsum mine during the middle ages, but is today a Naturschutzgebiet and a common meeting place for city residents; the Kalkberg is made up of gypsum and comes from sediments that were deposited there around 250 million years ago by the Zechstein Sea. More smaller disturbances have allowed the less dense Zechstein salts to flow together and force their way upwards into the younger, overlying rocks. Today these salts are near the earth's surface. Through this process, the more geologically-recent layers of rock around the rising mass of salt were deformed and lifted. Near the surface, the resulting salt dome was leached by groundwater, so that only the less readily-soluble elements remained behind, such as carbonates and sulphates; these are the compounds that make up the Kalkberg today, can be seen to protrude through the surface around Lüneburg. Today, the rock walls only have sparse vegetation, attracting animals and plants typical of dry grassland habitats.

On an area of 3.6 hectares, one can find over 180 species of flowering plants, including several warmth-, light-, chalk-loving types that otherwise grow only in south-central Europe. Several small caves are inhabited by bats; until February 1371, a castle stood on top of the Kalkberg from where the Principality of Lüneburg-Brunswick was governed. During the Lüneburg War of Succession, the castle on the Kalkberg was destroyed along with the nearby monastery; the bulk of the Kalkberg has been quarried away over the centuries in order to use the gypsum as a building material. The former quarry is still recognizable from its rugged walls; as a result of the depletion of the salt deposits and the increasing anhydrite content of the gypsum, the quarry was closed in 1923. Of particular geological interest are deposits of lüneburgite. Other minerals present include anhydrite, gypsum, hematite, jarosite, lepidocrocite, quartz, sylvite and thenardite; the Kalkberg still has a height of 56.3 m above sea level.

It was about 80 m high. The Lüneburg surveyor Eduard Schlöbcke helped turn the Kalkberg into one of the first German nature reserves in 1932. Eduard Schlöbcke: Der Kalkbergführer. 1000 Jahre Kalkberg und Gipsbruch in Lüneburg. Lüneburg 1928 Gerhard Stein: Der Lüneburger Kalkberg im Wandel der Zeiten. in: Jahrbuch Naturwiss. Verein Fürstentum Lüneburg, Bd. 39, 247-258, Lüneburg 1992 Erhard Poßin: Der Kalkberg, Bd. 4 der Lüneburger Hefte Hrsg.: Backsteinprojekt e. V. Lüneburg, 2008 Naturschutzgebiet "Kalkberg"

Congregationalist polity

Congregationalist polity, or congregational polity known as congregationalism, is a system of ecclesiastical polity in which every local church congregation is independent, ecclesiastically sovereign, or "autonomous". Its first articulation in writing is the Cambridge Platform of 1648 in New England. Among those major Protestant Christian traditions that employ congregationalism are those Congregational churches known by the Congregationalist name that descended from the Independent Reformed wing of the Anglo-American Puritan movement of the 17th century, the Baptist churches, as well as the Congregational Methodist Church. More recent generations have witnessed a growing number of nondenominational churches, which are most congregationalist in their governance. Congregationalism is distinguished from episcopal polity, governance by a hierarchy of bishops, is distinct from presbyterian polity in which higher assemblies of congregational representatives can exercise considerable authority over individual congregations.

Congregationalism is not limited only to organization of Christian church congregations. The principles of congregationalism have been inherited by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Canadian Unitarian Council. Most Jewish synagogues, many Sikh Gurdwaras and most Islamic mosques in the US operate under congregational government, with no hierarchies; the term congregationalist polity describes a form of church governance, based on the local congregation. Each local congregation is self-supporting, governed by its own members; some band into loose voluntary associations with other congregations that share similar beliefs. Others join "conventions", such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Baptist Convention or the American Baptist Churches USA. In Quaker Congregationalism, monthly meetings, which are the most basic unit of administration, may be organized into larger Quarterly meetings or Yearly Meetings. Monthly, quarterly, or yearly meetings may be associated with large "umbrella" associations such as Friends General Conference or Friends United Meeting.

These conventions provide stronger ties between congregations, including some doctrinal direction and pooling of financial resources. Congregations that belong to associations and conventions are still independently governed. Most non-denominational churches are organized along congregationalist lines. Many do not see these voluntary associations as "denominations", because they "believe that there is no church other than the local church, denominations are in variance to Scripture." The earmarks of Congregationalism can be traced back to the Pilgrim societies of the United States in the early 17th century. Congregationalism expressed the viewpoint that every local church is a full realization in miniature of the entire Church of Jesus Christ. While other theories may insist on the truth of the former, the latter precept of congregationalism gives the entire theory a unique character among plans of church government. There is no other reference than the local congregation for the "visible church" in Congregationalism.

And yet, the connection of all Christians is asserted, albeit in a way that defenders of this view decline intentionally, to elaborate more or consistently. This first, foundational principle by which congregationalism is guided results in confining it to operate with the consent of each gathering of believers. Although "congregational rule" may seem to suggest that pure democracy reigns in congregational churches, this is the case, it is granted, with few exceptions, that God has given the government of the Church into the hands of an ordained ministry. What makes congregationalism unique is its system of checks and balances, which constrains the authority of the clergy, the lay officers, the members. Most the boundaries of the powers of the ministers and church officers are set by clear and constant reminders of the freedoms guaranteed by the Gospel to the laity and individually. With that freedom comes the responsibility upon each member to govern himself or herself under Christ; this requires lay people to exercise great charity and patience in debating issues with one another and to seek the glory and service of God as the foremost consideration in all of their decisions.

The authority of all of the people, including the officers, is limited in the local congregation by a definition of union, or a covenant, by which the terms of their cooperation together are spelled out and agreed to. This might be something as minimal as a charter specifying a handful of doctrines and behavioral expectations, or a statement only guaranteeing specific freedoms. Or, it may be a constitution describing a comprehensive doctrinal system and specifying terms under which the local church is connected to other local churches, to which participating congregations give their assent. In congregationalism, rather uniquely, the church is understood to be a voluntary association; the congregational theory forbids ministers from ruling their local churches by themselves. Not only does the minister serve by the approval of the congregation, but committees further constrain the pastor from exercising power without consent by either the particular committee, or the entire congregation, it is a contradiction of the congregational principle if a minister makes decisions concerning the congregation without the vote of these other officers.

The other officers may be called deacons, elder or