Andrea F

Day 89: The Cloisters

In NYC, NYC Art, NYC Gardens, NYC Museums, NYC Parks, things to do in NYC on August 28, 2009 at 11:56 pm


In one of Manhattan’s northernmost neighborhoods, nestled amongst trees in Fort Tryon Park, overlooking the Hudson River to the west, high on a hilltop, sits ‘The Cloisters’. Named for the found remains of five medieval, open-air, covered walkways (cloisters), which served as a foundation for the landmarked structure that opened to the public in 1938, the museum is the only one in the United States dedicated solely to medieval art. Though not an exact replica of any particular medieval building, the museum, a branch of The Met, is comprised of galleries and gardens through which more than 5000 pieces of art are exhibited, some dating back as far as 800 A.D. From sculptures in wood and stone, to altars, tapestries and unique religious relics from centuries-old French monasteries, a day at The Cloisters is a walk through history, where visitors come face to face with artifacts from Romanesque and Gothic periods. Summertime is considered an ideal season to visit as three of the cloisters in the museum open onto gardens planted according to botanical records specific to the medieval period. For tourists visiting from abroad, the scene may look somewhat familiar, the old-world stone structure and ornate medieval ornamentation, but for city-folk, it’s like nothing else—certainly not your typical day at the museum.


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