The Museum

The Wuerttemberg Museum of Psychiatry is a recent and expanding institution which is dedicated to studies on the history of German psychiatry with a focus on Wuerttemberg and, more recently, Baden. The nucleus of the museum is a permanent exhibition on key aspects of Wuerttemberg psychiatric history including topics such as psychiatrists' travels, art production by former patients, explanatory presentations of various forms of psychiatric therapies, the social history of life in the asylums etc. The Museum's collection has continued to grow by purchase, gift, and transfer (particularly, in the latter case, by integrating the Collection of objects from Weinsberg Centre for Psychiatry).

The museum regularly offers additional exhibitions once or twice a year. Already presented projects included art exhibitions on paintings of former psychiatric patients, a photographic documentary on 20th century psychiatry in Romania, portraits of life and work of former patients of the associated institutions who contributed to culture in and ‚outside the walls of the asylum' in various ways and forms. Further topics of additional exhibitions included ‚euthanasia in psychiatry'.

The Museum is located in a fin-de-siècle pathology building designed as a chapel at the grounds of Muensterklinik Zwiefalten in Southern Wuerttemberg, the follow-up institution of the first ‚Koeniglich-Wuerttembergische Staatsirrenanstalt', founded in 1812 inside and around the architectural complex of a former Benedictine cloister (founded in 1089). The Museum is part of a larger medical network encompassing the whole of today's Baden-Wuerttemberg Centres of Psychiatry including the historical archives and libraries of those.

The Museum benefits from the active involvement of cultural scientists, historians of medicine, librarians, architects, psychiatrists and psychotherapists and the material support of Centres of Psychiatry in Wuerttemberg and Baden.

For more information on location, history, opening hours, photo galleries on objects of collection, historical studies published, books available at our shop or the Museum staff's activities see: