Rîmetea first appeared in documents at the end of the 13th century, between 1257 and 1272, with the name of Torockó. But the area was inhabited from Roman times, when people were drawn to this place by the iron mines in the mountains around. Locals were organized in a small society which was actually the first form of a professional organization known in Transylvania. Mining and iron ore processing led to a fast development. In the 17th century Torockó becomes a town. At the beginning of the 18th century there were 16 iron furnaces. The farming utensils produced here became the most renowned in the eastern Hungarian Kingdom. Besides its industry, the village was also famous for its tradition, its costumes and handcrafted art. The Rîmetea Ethnographic Museum, in the center of the village, offers an insight into the life and history of this place, all preserved in pieces of craft and art work.
A significant collection of iron ore processing tools are exposed in the five rooms of the museum. There are also many household items, such as finely crafted pottery. The houses here used to have an interesting model of a cooking stove, such as the one that can be seen here and also explained on the sketches on the wall. The last room has an exposition of traditional costumes. Still, the specific Rîmetea furniture remains the most impressive, as it is handmade out of painted wood with red flowers on a bluish green background. These are the colors of their traditional art work. The Rîmetea embroidery is unique. They used a completely different method than what we know. Complicated shapes in bright colors used to be more valuable than gold some time ago.
At the exit there is a small showcase with souvenirs. It’s hard to resit temptation and not buy a painted wooden box or some pottery, all in the Rîmetea bright colors.