The Met Cloisters has one of New York City’s best displays of medieval European art and architecture. This charming four-acre venue features original courtyards that have been imported from France. Click to book your Metropolitan Museum of Art with Access to The Breuer and The Cloisters admission ticket.
Cloisters Exhibitions and Galleries
The core of the Cloisters consists of four reconstructed cloisters from France. Centrally located on the main floor, most of the Cuxa Cloisters come from Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa in southwestern France.
The so-called Bonnefont Cloister contains elements from a number of Franciscan and Dominican cloisters in the Pyrenees. The Trie Cloister includes elements originating from a Carmelites cloister. At the Saint-Guilhem Cloister, you can see original elements from the abbey of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert.
Arcades, fountains, paved walkways and lush gardens are features of the typical cloisters essentially planted courtyards. The interior galleries at the Cloisters include the Late Gothic Hall, Romanesque Hall, Unicorn Tapestries, and Merode Room.
After looking at panel paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and manuscripts, you can admire some of the historical reconstructions in the Langon Chapel and the Fuentiduena Chapel. Frescoes, stained glass windows, reliquaries, and tombs are some of the highlights.
At the West Terrace, you could enjoy panoramic views of New Jersey’s Palisades Cliffs that rise above the Hudson River. A portion of the iconic George Washington Bridge is also visible from this spacious outdoor terrace.
Facts and History
Serving as a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters is a stunning complex that celebrates the charm of medieval Europe. Immediately after World War I, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. pushed for the development of parks and cultural attractions in the relatively tranquil Upper Manhattan. This wealthy figure enthusiastically convinced Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to design a master plan for a new green space. Eventually, Charles Collins was hired as the chief architect of a project that was supposed to establish a medieval-style presence in New York City.
Unlike most museums and landmarks in NYC, the Cloisters were built with historical elements from various sites in Europe. Entire columns, doorways, windows, and ceilings were meticulously assembled and reconstructed to form the Cloisters. Mostly made from stone, the imported pieces were integrated into the modern structure, evoking the architecture and interior design of Europe during the Middle Ages.
Visiting The Met Cloisters
The Met Cloisters occupies four acres between the Inwood and Hudson Heights neighborhoods of Upper Manhattan. This attraction is perched on hills that rise above the eastern banks of the Hudson River, which separates New York City from New Jersey.
The northern part of Fort Tryon Park encompasses this medieval-style recreation that’s been revived by ambitious tycoons and passionate art collectors. To reach the Cloisters by public transportation, you can take the New York City subway to the Dyckman Street station which has several entrances and exits. Trains that follow the A-line stop just off Broadway and Riverside Drive.
You can also take the 1 line and get off on Nagle Avenue. After exiting from one of the underground stops at Dyckman Street, you’ll need to briefly take an upward hike on meandering trails that lead to the peaks of Fort Tryon Park.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) operates buses that conveniently stop along Margaret Corbin Drive, which encircles the perimeter of the Cloisters. This transportation option is highly recommended for visitors who have trouble walking on elevated terrains.
Location: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive in Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY, 10040
Click here to visit The Met Cloisters official website.