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COVILHÃ

A surprise near the mountain

For most tourists, the city of Covilhã is the entrance door to Estrela mountain range. We pass by Covilhã in the joyful expectation of mountain and snow. On our way back, we wave this city goodbye, already tired. Again and again we ignore the fact that Covilhã is a warm-hearted lively city with a lot to see. Its geographical situation on the east slope of the mountain has been for centuries a major economic development factor. It was not by chance that Marquis de Pombal created here the first wool factories in the country. Apart from wool, Covilhã also took advantage of the existence of water streams that flew down the mountain, assuring the necessary driving force for the wool industry. Until the middle of the 20th century, wool has been the most important local product. The memory of those times can be seen in one of the most famous novels of Ferreira de Castro “A Lã e a Neve” (lit. “Wool and Snow”), as well as in important testimonies of industrial archaeology. In present time, Covilhã is teaching-oriented city, standing out as an important university centre. The city has deeply evolved, becoming very lively. Despite lacking a rich monument heritage, Covilhã offers pleasant green areas, an enviable gastronomy, as well as all the comfort provided by a modern city, lucky to have Estrela mountain around the corner.

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