Settled in the 18th century at the height of the Goiás gold rush, Pirenópolis was abandoned by the early 19th century after most of its gold was mined. Some locals say the years of isolation were a blessing, as they've helped to preserve the town's historic character: several streets retain the original pavement, which has slivers of quartzite, an abundant mineral that's still quarried in the nearby hills. On weekends many people flee from the modern concrete and glass of Brasília to immerse themselves in Pirenópolis's colonial flavor. The town has several blocks of historic houses, churches, charming restaurants, and quaint resorts, along with several well-respected jewelers. Try to avoid weekends, when the town becomes very crowded and can lose its charm.