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About us

Who we are?

Program team

dr. Sonja Bezjak, director,

dr. Reinhard Padinger, secretary,

Darja Farasin, president of the council,




Jože Žiž



Mag. Saša Bezjak, academic painter and prof. art pedagogy

Metka Lampret, head of the reading club

Marta Cvajdik, gymnastics and handicrafts


Institute Council

Darja Farasin, president

dr. Igor Sapač, member

dr. Vito Flaker, member

Elias Dorner, member

Barbara Kotnik, member



Barbara Kotnik, activity coordinator and curator educator,


External team members

ODRIV, računovodstvo in davčno svetovanje, d.o.o.


Člani muzeja na sestanku

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The Museum of Madness strives to create a comprehensive representation of the phenomenon of madness that will be accessible and relevant to individuals and groups at both the professional and layperson levels, with the ultimate goal of broadening the concept, bringing it up to date, removing tabus, and detaching it from the process of institutionalisation. We work closely with Slovenian organisations in this field as well as similar organisations and institutions across Europe and worldwide.


Through the Museum of Madness we strive to preserve and revitalise Castle Cmurek, the building in which the State Asylum for the Mentally and Neurologically Ill at Hrastovec – Trate operated for decades, thus contributing, we hope, to the ongoing process of de-institutionalising mental illness in Slovenia.


In line with our mission, the Museum of Madness aims to create a full-spectrum cultural, professional, social and tourist centre. We aim to revive the cultural and natural heritage of the surroundings of Castle Cmurek, incentivize the potential of the local community, and integrate our work into the wider region, regardless of the national border nearby. In doing so, we respect the principles of sustainable development and care for the environment.

Stara slika Mure


The earliest mention of Castle Crumb dates to the 12th century. The Styrian Stubenberg family governed the castle from 1401 to 1931.

In the brief period between the First and Second World Wars the owner of the castle was Anton Mally. Following World War II the Yugoslav government nationalized the castle and established a State Asylum for the Mentally and Neurologically Ill.

In 2004 the government closed the asylum on the premise that such institutions are inhumane. This was the first such facility that the Slovene government closed as part of a larger program of deinstitutionalization. We have repurposed it as a place of memory.


Recognition by local community Velka
The Museum of Madness institute, 2022

Moja Mura Alliance
Darja Farasin, Boris Bezjak and Sonja Bezjak for cooperation for preservation of a free-flowing Mura river

Zarja magazine, Woman of the Year nomination
dr. Sonja Bezjak, director of the Museum of Madness, 2018

Recognition by local community Velka
The Museum of Madness institute, 2016

Recognition by KUD Gabrijel Kolbič for cooperation
The Museum of Madness institute, 2016

Recognition by Fishery Association of Slovenia
Boris Bezjak, for the Mysterious World of the Mura river exhibition, 2014

Media projects and publications

Muzej norosti [Museum of Madness] documentary
2018-2020, Amir Muratović, Bernard Perme, RTV SLO
View at


V. Zadnji graščaki Trat [In. The Last Lords of Trate]
Short documentary, [English subtitles] 2014, Lukas Miheljak

Media releases

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