Pirenópolis, like other historic cities in 18th-century Goiás, was founded by Bandeirantes from Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Portugal. Exploration for gold in the Serra dos Pirineus region began in 1728, one year after exploration began around the city of Goiás. Soon, Manoel Rodrigues Tomás, associated with Bandeirate Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva (Anhanguera), founded some mines he called the Minas de Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Meia-Ponte. With the production of gold, Pirenópolis became an important urban center, well known for its cotton production as well. It was the first center for goiana music, and had Goiana's most important newspaper during the 19th century.
When the gold ran out at the end of the 19th century, the city's population began to shrink. Many moved to the new capital at Goiânia, or to cities in the south of the state, like Jataí, Rio Verde, Itumbiara, and Catalão. With the construction of nearby Brasilia in 1960, the city again began to grow, and the government decided to turn the city into a tourist destination, preserving many old buildings and the historic center.
Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Rosário, Praça Manuel Jaime Lopes (Praça da Matriz). The oldest Catholic church in the state. It was built by African slaves in 1728 with funds gained through gold mining. In September 2002, it was partially destroyed by a fire. It has since been restored but the altar was lost. Another church, the Matriz dos Pretos, had fallen into ruins and nothing remained but the altar, so the church-less altar was united with the altar-less church here in 2005.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Alto do Carmo. Constructed by slaves in 1750, this baroque church holds many works rescued from other churches which were demolished.
Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim, Rua do Bonfim, s/nº. Built by slaves between 1750 and 1755, it contains an image of Christ on the cross which was brought here from Porto Seguro, Bahia by almost 300 slaves.
Cavalhadas. Owing to the high percentage of Spanish and Portuguese descendants in the area, the city's most famous festival centers around the fight to push the Moors out of the Iberian Peninsula. Colorful costumes abound. Among other festival events is a recreation of a famous battle fought by Charlemagne. Yearly in June. edit
Cerrado Aventuras, ☎ 62 8579-9865, . Has options for hiking through a forest preserve, rafting, rappeling, and forest canopy tours.edit
Hotel Quinta Santa Bárbara - 1, Rua do Bonfim - Historical Center - (62) 3331-1304 (firstname.lastname@example.org). This hotel has suites with air conditioning/fan, TV and Internet. It also has facilities such as swimming pools, sauna and a large grove. Doubles R$ 145 - R$ 202.
Pousada Walkeriana - 37, Rua do Rosário (access also by 2, Praça do Rosário) - (62) 3331-1260 (email@example.com). This hotel, set up in an old colonial-style house, has antique furniture, an orchid garden and a swimming pool. Doubles R$ 100 - R$ 180.