I have to be honest, when it was suggested we visit The Cloisters during our recent trip to NYC I took a bit of convincing. I’ve visited medieval convents and monasteries in Europe and was very sceptical that such beauty, solitude and atmosphere could be replicated in Manhattan.
Boy, was I wrong!
(Victoria Smith refers to The Cloisters as one of the underrated gems of New York, so please check out her blog for it and other suggestions.)
As part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters is devoted to the art and architecture of Medieval Europe. (Click Here for a link to the official site which includes a 28 minute video.)
A ticket for Metropolitan Museum of Art allows you six days to use that same ticket to visit The Cloisters.
Getting there is simple. Take the A train uptown to 190th. From there you can either a) hop on the M4 bus for one stop, b) walk along Margaret Corbin Drive, or c) walk through Fort Tyron Park. I recommend the latter as the scenery and views are stunning.
Built from money donated by Rockefeller, the actual fabric of The Cloisters contains elements from original European (mostly French) medieval cloisters.
Artifacts include paintings, tapestries (including the Unicorn tapestry), plates, sculptures and religious items.
My favourite was a golden filigree straw, used for drinking the wine (Blood of Christ) from the chalice to ensure none spilled on the ground.
Possessing the most peaceful cafeteria you can imagine, The Cloisters is a wonderful place to while away a few hours and recharge your soul before returning to the hustle and bustle of the rest of Manhattan.
Visit it. You won’t be disappointed!