Pirenópolis is a historical city and one of the first founded in the state of Goiás. It was founded as Minas de Nossa Senhora do Rosário Meia Ponte, by the Portuguese miner Manoel Rodrigues Tomar (some historians call him Manoel Rodrigues Tomás). The mines from the region were discovered by the bandeirante (explorer) Amaro Leite; however, they were handed to be controlled by the Portuguese crown by Urbano do Couto Menezes, a fellow of Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva, known as Anhanguera Filho, in the first half of the 18th century. According to the local tradition, the arraial (village) was founded on October 7, 1727, but there are no documents proving it, and many old historians and chronicle writers state that the foundation took place in 1731.
It was an important urban center in the 18th and 19th centuries, with gold mining, trade and agriculture, particularly cotton production to be exported in the 19th century. Also in the 19th century, when the city’s name was Meia Ponte, it became notorious as the cradle of the typical Goiás music due to arising of great maestros, and as the cradle of the press in Goiás – the first Brazilian Central-West newspaper, Matutina Meiapontense, was created there. Since we have mentioned the first Brazilian Central-West newspaper, let’s read what the poet Leo Lynce says in the following verses: Que mundo de emoções experimento, ao recordar-te gleba hospitaleira – berço da imprensa de Goiás, primeira luz acesa no nosso pensamento (What a world of emotions I have experienced, when I first remember this welcoming homeplace – the cradle of the press in Goiás, the first sparkle of our thoughts). In 1890, the city’s name changed to Pirenópolis, the city of the Pireneus, named after the hilltop surrounding it. It was an isolated place for most of the 20th century, and in the 1970s, it was rediscovered when the new capital city of the country, Brasília, was built. Nowadays, it is famous for the tourism and the production of quartzite, the Stone of Pirenópolis.