As early as 1660, Portuguese missionaries reported there was a small settlement of Indians where Parintins stands today. Though later devastated by a smallpox epidemic, the community rebounded in the 19th century, in large part thanks to the rubber boom, and later became one of the Amazon's most important cities as a cattle and agricultural center. A quick visit to the historic center of Parintins should include a visit to the Cathedral of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, or Our Lady of Carmo. Parintins is centered around the church dedicated to its patron saint. It sits right on the main plaza, with a bell tower that soars 40 meters (130 feet) over the low city. From the river, the cathedral looks like a traditional structure, but the interior is actually modern and unadorned—and air-conditioned, a welcome treat in the Amazon heat. Special celebrations for Nossa Senhora do Carmo take place every year after the Boi Bumba festival.