Other facts such as number of Museums, e.g. City of Human Rights, etc.
Cradle of globalisation, Motherland of discoverers and explorers such as the Faleiro Brothers, Pero da Covilhã and Master José Vizinho, as well as artists and writers like Eduardo Malta and Alçada Batista.
Covilhã has a remarkable heritage and cultural legacy, accessible at the Covilhã Municipal Library, the Municipal Archive and at its two Municipal Museums: Sacred Art Museum and Covilhã Museum, the latter awarded with the Portuguese Museology Association prize for Museum of the Year 2022 and two honourable mentions in tourist information and best film. Covilhã´s outstanding legacy may also be accessed at the University of Beira Interior Library and the Wool Museum.
It has art galleries: the Tinturaria, installed in at former Alçada dyeing factory, located next to UBI, and, in the Historic Centre, at the Casa dos Magistrados the Galeria Prof. António Lopes. Besides these, it is also worth mentioning, the private investments made in the artistic areas, the Art & Wine Gallery, by Artur Aleixo, and the recently Gallery-Museum created by the international renown artist Luís da Cruz.
Among its 21 parishes, almost all have small museums and interpretative centres, with special emphasis on the Mining Museum (Aldeia de S. Francisco de Assis), the Interpretative Centre of Argemela (Barco), the Cherry Interpretative Centre (Ferro), the Cheese Museum (Peraboa) and the Casa Marmelo e Silva (Paul).
Still within the urban environment, we highlight the New Hand Lab. Installed at the building of the 17th century-old Estrela Factory, it has been transformed into a unique space of creativity and innovation par excellence, the result of the entrepreneurship and tenacity on its owners and resident artists, and the usage of endogenous products in particular.
Covilhã has several theatre companies: ASTA, GICC Teatro das Beiras, Quarta Parede and a renewed Municipal Theatre, a 600 seats performance hall, artistic residences and creation rooms. It also has an open-air amphitheatre in the Goldra Garden. Besides being framed by Serra da Estrela, a UNESCO Global Geopark, with unique and singular mountain landscapes, fauna and flora, the urban area of Covilhã has green areas, parks and great gardens.
There are numerous urban routes to discover: the Ribeira da Carpinteira Route, which includes the Carpinteira Bridge designed by Carrilho da Graça, with a view over Cova da Beira; the Urban Art Route, as result of many Wool editions, the oldest Urban Art festival in Portugal; the Church Routes, with special emphasis on the Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, the Church of Santa Maria and the Chapels of S. Martinho and S. João de Malta; the Art Nouveau Route, in which it is possible to see the predominance of real estate heritage left by the architect Ernesto Korrodi – besides him, other of the most 20th century relevant architects, like Raul Lino, Cottinelli Telmo, Adães Bermudes, Almeida Araújo, Luís Cabral, Teotónio Pereira and the aforementioned Carrilho da Graça have an important legacy in the city and in the municipality, with projects strongly anchored in principles of sustainability and urban mobility.
Gastronomically, there is an increasing offer of restaurants with signature cuisine, using native products such as cherovia (parsnip), which led to the organisation of confraternities and gastronomic festivals. Covilhã also has singular delicacies unique in the country: Gargantas de Freira, with convent sweets characteristics; the Pastel de Molho, associated with the industrious textile environments; and the Bolacha de Cerveja, a beer cracker with a crispy and fine texture.
Covilhã’s economy is mainly based on education, services, health, mineral extraction and, especially, on the woollen industry, where creativity and innovation reign, based on a past of greatness, dominance and ancestral knowledge.