The most western village of Székelys* in Transylvania is the Hungarian-populated Torockó (Rimetea). Torockó is perhaps the most beautiful village of Transylvania, regarding to both its natural setting and its architecture. The main square of the village situated in the Torockó Basin, at the foot of the Székelykő mountain, recently gained Europa Nostra Award. The Unitarian church and most of the sights are there, but it is not an everyday sight the village itself, with its white painted small houses and with the dramatic towering stone called Székelykő.
The other attractions of the village are its specially rich, ornate costumes, whose eloquent pieces can be viewed in the Museum of Ethnography. It is worth a trip to Torockószentgyörgy (Colţeşti), visit the Unitarian church and the ruins of the Castle of Torockó.
The past of Torockó
The first known habitants settled in the area of the village were Slavs in the 7th-8th century. They started to mining iron. The name of the place may be derived from them: "toroszkő", "troksz" words mean iron stone, iron shape. At the Conquest of the Hungarians they occupied the basin, later in the rapidly expanding family Thoroczkay called German expert iron workers to the region. The rich ore deposits and hard-working people of the landscape developed Torockó to a significant centrum of the region. The German settlers have built water-powered forges in the rafting rivers. Castles have been built at the rocky peaks: at Székelykő and near Torockószentgyörgy (Colţeşti).
A significant period of the life of Torockó was the reign of János Zsigmond (John Sigismund). The population then moved to the Unitarian faith, and since then the village is only inhabited by adherents of this faith. In the end of the 16th century, school was established, and 100 years later, the still standing Unitarian church was bulit.
Most of the residents of the village joined to the kuruc** people of Rákóczi. In 1702 the bloody generals Rabutin attacked the village and on 17th November András Ekart and Gergely Szabó, who protested against the arbitrariness of the Austrians, have been hang up in the main square. They were honored martyrs in the village since then, the casements of old houses are painted to red in memory of them. Two years later, the Austrian general Tiege burned the village down and ruined the Castle of Torockó near Torockószentgyörgy (Colţeşti).
In 1784, Torockó again went up in flames. It was burned up by the armies of peasants' revolt of Horea. Despite this, according to the landlords, the people of Torockó were the supporters of Horea. Thus, the population had drawbacks by two different sides also. Then they have become more cautious, and they tried to regain their autonomy by executive-legislative instruments, without success.
Torockó is the most beautiful Transylvanian village in the eastern part of the Transylvanian Island Mountains. Its famous "white houses" were built after a fire around 1870. Because of the the typical form of the Székelykő mountain, the sun gets up twice a day in Torockó, as Jókai wrote in his novel "Egy az Isten" ("God is One"). The rock gets its name from that the lords of the village called Székelys from the area called Aranyosszék to fight against the Mongols in the 13th century. For their assistance, they received the former hilltop castle and its surroundings.
Major sights in the village
- Unitarian church
- Museum of Etnography: housed in the mayor's office, home to a rich collection of folk art. Museum can be visited every day except Monday from 9 to 17. (Phone: +40 258 768 001)
- The oldest known wooden house of the Carpathian Basin which was built in 1668 (our guests can take a visit inside!)
- Private museum of Anna Geley, which has a rich private collection of folk art (house no. 180)
- Aunt Ida's private museum, which has a rich private collection of folk art, which was a cobbler workshop in the ages of Aunt Ida's father (house no. 174, phone.: +40 258 768 266 [Margit Pap])
- Water Mill, which was built in 1752
- Székelykő mountain
More useful information about the village (in Hungarian language): Homepage of Torockó.
Torockó (Rimetea) at Wikipédia.
* a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania
** armed anti-Habsburg rebels in the Kingdom of Hungary between 1671 and 1711
(Information from szekelyfoldiinfo.ro)