Pirenopolis Tourist Attractions
PirenópolisSituation and CharacteristicsPirenópolis (now protected as a national monument), 128km/80mi north of Goiânia, was founded in 1731, after the discovery of gold at Meia Ponte, by the bandeirante Bartolomeu Bueno Filho. The town lies near the Serra dos Pireneus and is traversed by the Rio das Almas, one of the source streams of the Rio Tocantins. BR 153 runs 30km/19mi east of the town. The tourist trade and the working of minerals (including emeralds) are the main pillars of the town's economy; but Pirenópolis is also one of the mystical places on the Central Plateau which attract numerous sects and "alternative" communities.
Nossa Senhora do Rosário
N.S. do RosárioThe church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário (national monument) was built between 1728 and 1732. Its clay walls are the thickest in the whole of Brazil (1.10m/43in.).
Igreja do Carmo
Igreja do CarmoThe Igreja do Carmo (1750) now houses the Museum of Sacred Art.
Nossa Senhora do Bom Fim
N.S. do Bom FimThe church of Nosso Senhor do Bom Fim, which like the others is in the old town, was built in 1750-54. It contains a figure of Christ, painted on two wooden panels, from Bahia.Other features of interest are the Teatro de Pirenópolis (1899) and the Museu Regional Familia Pompeu.
EventsOn the first night of full moon in July there is a pilgrimage to the Serra dos Pireneus, 18km/11mi away.45 days after Holy Week the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo (Feast of the Holy Ghost at Whitsun), the most celebrated festival in the whole of the Brazilian middle west, with old folk traditions - equestrian tournaments, the congada (a dance-play of African origin which culminates in the coronation of the Rei do Congo), the reisado (Three Kings dance), the contradança, the mascarada and pastorinhas (Nativity plays).
Waterfalls3km/2mi from the town are the Andorinha, Pilão and Agua Quente waterfalls. 17km/10.5mi from Pirenópolis on the road to the Serra dos Pireneus are the Abade mines, with their workings, and waterfalls.
Fazenda BabilôniaThe Fazenda Babilônia (national monument), formerly known as the Engenho de São Joaquim, was established between 1800 and 1805. The huge overhanging roof, with an extension on one side, covers the whole complex of buildings - the owner's house, the sugar-mill, the workshops and the slaves' huts. (Access by GO 431, turning into BR 153 at km25/mi16.5.)