We begin our historic tour of Covilhã at Praça do Município. The statue of Pêro da Covilhã, born in the city and who played an important role in the Discoveries. Portuguese diplomat and explorer was one of the most decisive figures for the Portuguese presence in the world. Skilled politician, he was the first great European explorer of the coasts of India and East Africa, giving precise indications for the preparation of Vasco da Gama’s voyage. On the other side of the square awaits us the statue of King Luís I, who in 1870 made Covilhã a city.

Just behind it, we have the Igreja da Misericórdia, a building of Public Interest. It was built at the end of the century. XVI and has mannerist and baroque characteristics. Its central position and close to Praça do Município does not leave anyone indifferent, deserving an attentive and mandatory visit. Take the opportunity to visit the Tourism Office.

Our historic tour now takes us through the Old Jewish Quarter. The narrow, winding streets follow the steep slope of the slope, adapting to the terrain and assuming the natural character of walls. The houses follow the medieval typology, with 2 to 3 floors, with the ground floor for the shop and the upper ones for housing. We cannot fail to admire the Manueline Window that still exists and is in a fantastic state of conservation.


We arrive at the Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, belonging to the disappeared Convent of São Francisco built in the century. XVI, maintains the original portal in late Gothic style. In the century 19th, when the convent was closed, the space was converted into a woolen factory, although the church was still open for worship.


A little further on, we have the Museum of Sacred Art, opened in 2011. It is located in the former residence of D. Maria José de Alçada, designed and developed by Arq. Raul Lino in 1921. This building was donated to the local authority by testament, converting it into a museum space. As a curiosity, this building was built in an area that was intended for a working class neighborhood.

The Palacete Jardim appears to us in an imposing way. It is one of Covilhã’s most emblematic buildings. Its construction was commissioned by the family of José Maria Bouhon, originally from Belgium and who took up residence in Covilhã, at the end of the century XIX. Designed between 1915 and 1920, the aforementioned family lived here, and the building later housed the Labor Court and the INATEL Delegation. It is currently uninhabited. Another project in the city under the responsibility of the Architect Ernesto Korrodi, the building is covered with tile, with plant motifs, geometric and includes a surrounding garden.

In front of you is the no less emblematic Fonte das Três Bicas. Built in 1855 at the behest of the local authority, it was located in Praça do Município until the 1940s, when it was dismantled and transferred to this location in the 1950s. Although the victim of modernization, it still boasts its imposing granite stonework and typical three spouts, in the best neoclassical style.


Behind the building of the Municipality of Covilhã we have the Manuelina Window monument (Memorial of Casa da Hera) – Casa da Hera was built in 1497 and hosted D. Luís during his visits to Covilhã.

A little further up we can find the Casa dos Magistrates – House of Pombaline architecture built in the second half of the 18th century, with the purpose of housing the judges from abroad, appointed by Territorial Ministers.

On its side, in the middle of the road there are several anthropomorphic graves. They are difficult to date, but do not contradict a probable occupation of the century. XII.

Next to it we have the Church of Santa Maria Maior, built in the century. XIII / XIV. It is located at the intersection of important arteries in the historic center. The current Church of Santa Maria is one of the main landmarks of the Marian faith in the city. It was (re)built from 1872 to 1876, on the site of the original temple. Its façade was covered with tile panels as early as the 40s of the century XX, being today its ‘brand image’ and a must-visit.


Our journey now continues to the Sun Clock / Ancient Walls area, site of a fantastic viewpoint over the whole of Cova da Beira with the Serra da Gardunha peeking out in the background. The walls were built by King Sancho I. The 1755 earthquake caused considerable damage, causing the biggest tower to fall. Nowadays there are only small extensions of the primitive walls, which dot the oldest part of the city.

We end our tour with a visit to the Wool Museum (Royal Cloth Factory), whose mission is to safeguard the heritage associated with one of the oldest human industries. The museum building was once the Royal Cloth Factory that was born on June 26, 1764, as part of the kingdom’s industrialization project, led by Marquês de Pombal.


After this trip through Covilhã, it’s your turn to learn more about its secrets and centuries-old stories. Our qualified, local guides will take you through the streets and alleys of the mountain city, to discover its immense history and people, its peculiar traditions and customs that are still manifested today.

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