The Cloisters is a museum in Fort Tryon Park near the very top tip of Manhattan. It is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) and is devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Its four-acre lot rests atop a hill overlooking the Hudson River, which you have to climb up if you, like me, do not have access to a car in New York.
Boy, I was already tired when I got to the top. Their recommended admission is $25 for adults, and it provides you with same-day admission to the Met as well if you decide to go there.
The museum and gardens features about 2000 works of art, and date between the twelfth and fifteenth century for the most part. Here are just a couple of photos from inside the various areas of the museum.
The works of art were quite interesting, but I was even more interested in the actual cloisters themselves. If you’re wondering what a cloister is, they are “the nucleus of monastic life” – basically, it’s a courtyard that is in close proximity to the chapter house, church, dormitory, and refectory. There are four of them in the museum and gardens, with my favourite being the Cuxa Cloister and Garden.
It has an interesting pink tinge to its stones and was quarried for the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa. In the warmer months, medieval and modern plants are grown in the garden, but of course, nothing was growing there during my visit.
Another one is Saint-Guilhem Cloister, from the monastery of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, near Montpellier in France.
Yet another is the Trie Cloister, elements of which are from the Trie-en-Bigorre convent near Toulouse, France.
The last one is the “Bonnefort” Cloister, which is completely outside and borders Fort Tryon Park and looks out over the Hudson River. There are 21 pairs of double columns to this cloister.
As I mentioned, there are views of the Hudson River from the Cloisters.
It was quite a nice day to be somewhere peaceful like the Cloisters.
I ended up spending quite a lot of time up there. If you ever go to New York and want to see something a tad out of the ordinary and a little bit out of the way, I would definitely recommend heading up to see the Cloisters.
Then, it was time for the trek back down the hill!
I hope you enjoyed this post – stay tuned for more New York ramblings!