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.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovenia

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