Valmiera is the economic and administrative centre of Vidzeme. Its main employer is a large glass-fibre plant, but there are also other manufacturers, for example, Valpro that is one of world's largest makers of portable fuel tanks. Also furniture and various food products are made in Valmiera. A regional college brings a lot of youthful spirit, but a well regarded theatre completes the package of regional urban atractiveness. The centre was burned down during WWII, so, while there are some historic places - 13th century church, small castle ruins, there is no chance to immerse yourself in a maze of small streets and intimacy of old wooden buildings like you can in nearby Cesis.