The Cloisters Museum & Gardens is a stunning collection containing thousands of works of art and architecture from Medieval Europe. With a heavy emphasis on medieval religious art, tapestries, and works depicting heraldry, The Cloisters Museum is a dream for any Europhile with a penchant for gorgeous and depictive stained glass, religious relics, and artifacts from the time of the Crusades. Also featured on site is a cloistered garden, modeled after medieval planting standards and featuring beautiful and historic design elements. Spend a day reveling in the ancient splendors on display at this New York landmark institution…even the building itself is a work of art!
The Cloisters Museum & Gardens is located on four acres of riverfront property in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, and contains the mother-load of medieval art and sculpture, housing approximately 3,000 pieces dating from the ninth to the sixteenth century. The Cloisters is described by former Director of Musée du Louvre in Paris as “the crowning achievement of American museology”. The building is modeled after five different medieval French cloisters, with quadrangle galleries set under a vaulted passageway, making for a very authentic experience as you move from hall to hall. The Cloisters’ collection emphasizes the Romanesque and Gothic periods of European art and architecture, containing not only art and sculpture but also illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork, enamels, ivories, and ornate tapestries.
Some highlights of the Cloister’s collection that you can expect to see include: a refurbished collection of seven tapestries depicting ‘The Hunt of the Unicorn’; an early-fifteenth-century French illuminated book of hours; a twelfth-century ivory cross attributed to the English abbey of Bury Saint Edmunds; stained-glass windows from the castle chapel at Ebreichsdorf, Austria; a stone Virgin of the mid-thirteenth century from the choir screen of Strasbourg Cathedral in France; “The Antioch Chalice” dated to 500BC; and stained-glass scenes from “the Legend of Saint Vincent of Saragossa and the History of His Relics”.
The sheer size of this medieval collection makes it likely that you will want to spend a good deal of time perusing its galleries and walled gardens. After your visit is complete, light meals and snacks are available at The Trie Café, a quaint eatery located under the covered arcades of The Cloisters. (Bonus: your ticket to The Cloisters Museum & Gardens will also get you same-day access to The Metropolitan Museum of Art!).
M4 bus to the last stop (Fort Tryon Park/The Cloisters) or A train to 190th Street, exit the station by elevator to Ft. Washington Ave., and walk north along Margaret Corbin Drive for approximately ten minutes or transfer to the M4 bus and ride north one stop.
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Comments about Smart Destinations Cloisters Museum (Metropolitan Museum of Art) - same day admission to Met:
This is a wonderful collection of Medieval Art and I absolutely loved the location. It felt like we were leaving the city for a little while. Such a special spot and what an amazing museum.