Covilhã

Covilhã, which belongs to Castelo Branco district and is composed of 31 parishes, is hidden amid mountains and the slopes of Serra da Estrela. Although it is located in Portugal's inland, it presents good quality of life indices and has been expanding; on the one hand thanks the manufacture of wool since remote times and, on the other, in modern times, due to the existence of Universidade da Beira Interior, which first university course, that of textiles, is today a reference on national level. The various archaeological findings, some of them open to visits, attest to the presence of remote populations, supported by the navigability of the Zêzere, which featured people of varied origins. It has also been conquered and re-conquered several times. The history of this county is forever linked to illustrious figures in the history of Portugal, as Frei Diogo Alves da Cunha, Pero da Covilhã, João Ramalho and Fernão Penteado. Currently Covilhã remains one of the major wool centers of Europe. There are, however, other activities that ensure the economic sustainability of the county, such as trade, industry, agriculture and herding and tourism. The latter benefits from the proximity of ski resorts and the existence of an admirable set of monuments and attractions that deserve to be visited. Typical gastronomy and handicrafts are exponents of Covilhã. Sausages, soups, migas (dish made with leftover bread) of eggs or tomatoes, míscaros (mushroom stew) with eggs, pastel de molho (cow meat pie soaked in broth, served like a soup), bucho (pork stomach dish), feijoada da Beira (kind of bean stew) ou ervilhas tortas (boiled snow peas) are examples of the long list of delicacies. The sweets are equally tempting: cavacas de Pinhel (sweets made with eggs and olive oil), bolo de requeijão (cottage cheese cake with cinnamon), gargantas de freira (sweets made of "soft eggs" and wrapped in wafer), talassas (waffles), biscoitos de azeite (olive oil cookies), carolos (sweet cob porridge) or tigelada da Beira (cake made with eggs and cinnamon). For the perfect combination, nothing better than a good wine from any of the local cooperative wineries.

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