Goiás (city)

Boa Morte Sacred Art Museum

Originally Vila Boa de Goiás, Goias city (some residents consider the popular nickname Goiás Velho (Old Goias) as pejorative, avoid using it, prefer to use City of Goiás; someone born here is a vilaboense) is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the former capital of the Brazilian state of Goias with a population around 27,000.


Soon after the discovery of gold in Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais, a belief emerged in the seventeenth century, that also would be gold in the central region of the country, still uninhabited. Then, very close to the Serra Dourada, Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva (the Anhanguera), found gold in the Red River and founded the Arraial de Sant'anna in 1727. The region was inhabited by the Goyaz Indians, who knew the locations of gold deposits. The Indians refused to tell the scouts where the deposits were then Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva put brandy in a bowl and puts fire. The Indians, astonished, shouted "Anhanguera" which means "Old Devil" and revealed the pioneers of where the mines were located.

A decade later, in 1737, the Arraial is elevated to the administrative category of Village, changing its name Vila Boa de Goyaz. In 1748, with the Royal Charter in effect, the Captaincy of Goyaz is created, and Vila Boa becomes its capital. The first governor, Don Marcos de Noronha, also known as Conde dos Arcos, builds many important buildings in the city, as the Foundry House and Conde dos Arcos Palace, the new seat of government.

In the early nineteenth century, the gold mines were exhausted; the city turned its economic activities for agriculture, and began to be valued culturally by resembling the São Paulo of 450 years before. The Procession of the Blaze is an important demonstration of Goiana culture. This occasion, that happens the Wednesday of Holy Week, is a representation of Christ's arrest. Also at this time, it was decided to construct a new pre-planned state capital, Goiânia, as the ancient city of Goiás had enormous problems of planning and had no where else to grow.

The construction of Goiânia, begun in 1933, by Governor Pedro Ludovico Teixeira, meant a setback in the question of the city population, since many of the residents moved to the new capital, but the effect was positive for the conservation of the historic center. The appointment of the City of Goiás as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2001, further contributed to the city's tourism, which receives thousands of tourists every year, many from other countries.

Get in

To access the newer parts of town you will want to take either the first or second access entries into Goias from the main road. To access the historical area, enter at the third access road.

Get around

Most of the touristic places to see are in the Historical Area of the city, which can easily be handled on foot. There are taxis available for short trips out of town. The bus stop is a fairly lenghty walk from the historical section of town, so if you are carrying much luggage expect to need a taxi for the last leg of the trip. A car is not very useful for in-city activity as the streets are extremely narrow.


Bandeiras Museum
Conde dos Arcos Palace


Waterfalls/Swimming Holes

Use caution in the rainy season - flash floods are common!






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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 25, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.