Postcards from The Cloisters in Upper Manhattan

I recently spent a week in New York City and seeing as this was my second visit, I wanted to visit some of the lesser known attractions I missed the first time around. At the top of my list was a trip out to the Cloisters.

The Cloisters which formally opened in 1938 are devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Inside you’ll find medieval sculptures, tapestries, and illuminated manuscripts, with many of the pieces dating between the 12th and 15th centuries.

I can’t remember exactly how I first heard of the Cloisters – maybe I read about it on a blog while planning my trip, or perhaps I came across a photo of it on Instagram – whatever it was, this place was on my radar because it looked nothing like what you’d expect to find in New York City.

And so, on my first day in Manhattan, I traded skyscrapers for towering trees, and the masses of people for solitude as I made my way to over to Fort Tryon Park. And that’s another nice thing about this museum – because it’s a bit of a trek to Upper Manhattan, there was hardly a soul there and I had many of the galleries all to myself!

Here are a few photos from the day:

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

Essential info:

  • If you’re travelling by subway, you’ll want to take the A train to 190th Street and exit the station by the elevator. (I decided to walk up the hill and I was sweaty and out of breath by the time I reached the top!) Walk north along Margaret Corbin Drive for about 10 minutes, or alternatively you can choose to ride the M4 bus for one stop.
  • The Cloisters are an extension of the Met and admission here is included when you purchase a ticket at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While the suggested admission is $25 for adults, and $12 for students, that really is just a suggestion and you are welcome to give whatever you can afford. (Words spoken by a local New Yorker who was horrified I had paid the full “suggested” price, so there.)
  • The Cloisters are open 7 days a week, except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. Hours of operation are between 10:00 a.m.–5:15 p.m. March through October, and 10:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m. November through Februrary. 

Have you ever been to the Cloisters?
Do you know of any other gems in New York City?

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