Cmurek Castle is an originally 12th-century castle built on a hill above the Mura River in the northern part of the settlement. It was extended and rebuilt at various times in the 16th, 17th, and late 18th centuries. It is a three-story building with an internal arcaded courtyard.
The castle was mentioned in documents already in 1148 when it was owned by the Cmurek nobles. Later on, the castle was purchased by the Counts of Celje. The last owners were the Counts of Stubenberg (1401–1931) and Anton Mally (1931–1945).
The two-storey building has preserved only a few Romanesque elements, namely, in the course of centuries, numerous rebuildings have takenplace: the chapel was set up in 1340, the Renaissance arcades in the courtyard were constructed during the 16th and 17th centuries, eventually, in the late 18th century, the medieval tower was pulled down and some building extensions introduced.
From the ruins of the defence tower of the upper castle and the chapel in the lower part of the village, the New Kinek Castle was built at the end of the 18th century. Later on it was named Kapralov's castle after its pre-war owner, the Russian immigrant and physician Serghei Kapralov. Later on, the castle became quite famous for its industrial mill run by electricity as early as 1914, half a century before the neighbouring villages. It was constructed by an English entrepreneur named Harry Hanson. Drago Jančar's short story Death at Mary of the Snows was based on the Hansons' couple tragic death in 1944.
In 1947, the Cmurek Castle became a home for the elderly. A decade later it became the closed psychiatric institution Hrastovec-Trate. In the 2000s, the institution opted for an open treatment of its patients and the castle was again deserted.
From 1956 till 2004, the castle housed the Institution for the Mentally Disabled Hrastovec–Trate. Nine years after its abandonment, the castle became the nexus for a local initiative focused on the Museum of Madness. Today it has turned into a unique cultural and community venue.References:
The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.
The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.
The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.
There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).
The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.