Covilhã is a city and a municipality in the Centro region of Portugal. Covilhã's history dates back to a pre-historical settlement, a shelter for Lusitanian shepherds, and a Roman fortress known as Cava Juliana or Silia Hermínia. Covilhã was granted foral (council) in 1186, about the same time the castle walls were built. In 1755, Covilhã was shaken by the forces of the Lisbon earthquake, destroying part of Covilhã's castle walls and its large towers.
Major economic activities in the region include textiles, food industry and agriculture. The University of Beira Interior (established in 1979) has a great importance in the city today. Covilhã is traditionally a center of wool and textile industries – the university central building was the Royal Textile Factory, established in the 18th century. The city has a science park, the Parkurbis, which has attracted several new businesses to the area.