Place of the Congress
The Congress will take place on the campus of the University of Beira Interior – Faculty of Social and Human Sciences located at Estrada do Sineiro s / n in Covilhã, Portugal
The University of Beira Interior and its Faculties
The University of Beira Interior is one of the youngest Universities in Portugal (1986) that is now among the 100 to 150 best young universities worldwide according to the World University Ranking (2018).
The University has about 7,000 students and several hundred teachers and staff, mostly young and middle-aged. About 15% of the students are international students who choose this University of Beira Interior and its Faculties and Departments to obtain their undergraduate / bachelor’s degrees, master’s and doctor’s degrees here – for the high-quality standards achieved by their researchers in several areas.
The five Colleges/Faculties are usually located in old (wool) textile mills that have been adapted to new roles. In fact, Covilhã was for hundreds of years known as ‘Manchester Portuguesa’, because there were more than 120 factories of wool in the past. – This process of conversion of old factories into Colleges was very successful and was even considered a good example of industrial archeology. The 5 Faculties cover from Medicine, the newest, to the Social and Human Sciences, to Engineering Sciences, to Exact Sciences to Art and Letters (the second is the youngest). Each of them has its own Library.
The building of the Rectory is also a great adaptation of an old and pleasant 15th century convent – the Convent of Santo António – which was totally recovered and converted to be used by the Rector’s team – Rector, Vice Rectors, pro-Rectors and technicians and support them. Well worth a visit.
Although many of the wool and wool mills in the city and county were shut down mainly from 1974 to now, following the democratic opening of the country and the so-called globalization phenomenon, Covilhã is also home to the main European industry group – the Paulo de Oliveira that sells products of wool of high quality for the best-known international groups or chains of clothes. There are still other woolen companies, but already in small number …
The region’s production sector has been regularly re-emerging and today it is possible to find companies from other sectors such as fruit, plastics, confectionery, hard steel, call centers and others.
There are also two industrial parks in Covilhã, one of which has a Science and Technology Park (Parkurbis), and a modern PT / Altice Data Center that stores data from national and foreign companies and other organizations.
The University of Beira Interior has a very well-preserved and well-equipped museum – the Wool Museum in its Pole I, Main Campus, or Main Building building, which deserves an attentive visit. It also has a modern and pleasant Central Library, restaurants, bars, Computer Center, well equipped and modern Laboratories, Reprography Service, Research Units, among other buildings and services …
For more information see the web page of the University of Beira Interior: www.ubi.pt.
The Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
The Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, where the XXI World Economy Congress is held, is also located in an old factory near a small creek or stream, Ribeira da Carpinteira, which formerly supplied energy to the factory located here and all others upstream and above all downstream, many of which are still in need of recovery. The Faculty awards or teaches all degrees – bachelor, master and doctor – in the areas of Economics, Management, Marketing, Sociology, International Relations, Psychology and Education and Sports Sciences. There are also several postgraduate courses with no degree assignment and others aimed at companies and their workers. It has a specific college library, a canteen / restaurant and a bar, both moderately priced to be used by students, teachers, visitors and staff alike. It also has a small but very interesting building where the two Faculty research units are located, courses are given to the business community and where some researchers carry out their research work. It also has rooms equipped with computer support to be used in classes, 3 auditoriums, enough classrooms and offices of work of respective teachers and support technicians.
For more information from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities see www.ubi.pt/entidade/Ciencias_Sociais_e_Humanas [here].
The city and region
The city of Covilhã, Portugal, where the XXI Congress is going to take place is a small or medium city considering the size of urban centers in Portugal, located in the central part of the country about 40 km straight from neighboring Spain and about 100 kms by motorway or rail. It is a city located in the base and diapers of the highest mountain of Portugal, Serra de Estrela, the mountain range where there is the only season of winter sports of the country. The city is the heir of a very rich and interesting historical heritage related to the wool industry which was established here several hundred years ago and which, as already mentioned, is undergoing a crisis that has almost decimated it.
The city and its county are in the Center Region of Portugal. It is served by two motorways connecting it to the north of Portugal and Spain, the A25, and the center, south and Lisbon, to A23. The two main Portuguese cities, Lisbon and Porto, are 300 and 250 km respectively. The region is predominantly mountainous, but in the Cova da Beira where the city is located, a plain crossed by the Zêzere River, which is great to produce quality fruits such as cherries, peaches, apples, pears and many other fruits. the production of other agricultural products and the raising of livestock. Also famous is the creamy Serra da Estrela cheese made from the milk extracted from the sheep raised on the slopes of the mountain range. It has abundant pine forests and also of eucalyptus trees that in recent years have suffered immense with the criminal fires that have greatly damaged their owners and the local economies.
To know more visit the website.
Interesting places to visit
Within the city of Covilhã:
– Museums and art galleries:
The Wool Museum of the University of Beira Interior, Museum of Sacred Art, Art Cultural Museum (in recovery works); Gallery “Tapestry”
– Monuments and other buildings:
Rectory of the University, main-building of the University (pole I, central building), Central Library and Building of the Faculty of Sciences of Engineering in Art New, Church of St. Mary, Church of St. Francis, St. James, Holy Trinity, Chapel of St. Martin, other diverse churches and chapels, remnants of the castle walls.
Buildings in Arte Nova:
Faculty of Engineering and other old factories, and Garden Palace, Union Club, and other manor houses in Arte Nova scattered throughout the city.
Historical downtown streets
Public buildings with historical interest:
City Hall building (www.cm-covilhã.pt, buildings of the University – Rectory and Pole I of the University, ruins of old factories, other buildings of the University and its Faculties.
Several paintings in urban art of great quality spread throughout the historical center of Covilhã.
For tour and visit:
Garden of the Lake, Public Garden in the center of the city, other gardens, mountain rivers and streams that cross the city, beautiful buildings in new art, “street art”, shuttles and elevators, pedestrian bridge, the City Hall, Palace of Justice, railway and bus stations, etc. …
Municipal swimming pools:
It has two swimming pools, but it is advisable for this time of year to use the wave pool (in Jardim do Lago) and its bars and outdoor terraces.
Outside the city / surroundings:
- Parks and National Reserves / Mountains / Mountains: Natural Park of Serra da Estrela, Serra da Gardunha (Fundão), Nature Reserve of Malcata / Tables (Sabugal),
- Historical villages: Belmonte (15 kms with 5 museums, castle, churches), Sortelha (the best preserved of Portugal to 30 kms) and New Castle (25 kms),
- Rivers, valleys and plains: Rio Zêzere, Ribeira das Goldra and Carpinteira, plain of Cova da Beira.
- Historical sites and historical cities: Guarda, Sabugal, Fundão, Castelo Branco; rivers and lakes near where you can practice the art of fishing for trout and hunting in appropriate places;
Where to stay / hotels
- Hotel Tryp / Melia Dª Maria
- Hotel Pura Lã
- Hotel Luna dos Carqueijais
- Hotel Luna Serra da Estrela
- Pousada dos Montes Hemínios / Parador in Serra da Estrela
- Hotel Santa Eufêmea
- Sport Sport
- Double bed
- Hotel Solneve
- Hotel H20 (thermal 15 km away)
- Other hotels (housing tourism and rural tourism) and local accommodation
Where to eat
It has several food establishments where you can enjoy the pleasant local food and bars where they cool off on the hot days that are expected for June at the time of the Congress.
Bars, nightclubs and terraces
There are several bars, nightclubs and esplanades dotted around the city where you can have a drink, dance, listen to music or enjoy the extraordinary view over Cova da Beira.