The Cloisters, a museum devoted to medieval art and architecture, is a delightful respite from the hustle and bustle of NYC. This tranquil treasure is definitely worth a half day (or more) trip on your next visit.
A branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters opened in 1938 and is located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan. Perched on a towering cliff, the museum offers commanding views over the Hudson River with views of New Jersey and the George Washington Bridge.
The museum is celebrating its 75th birthday this year. The buildings include elements from medieval sites from Europe (primarily France) and renowned artwork includes the Unicorn Tapestries and the Annunciation Triptych, but the heart of the museum is the cloistered garden. This lush space consists of an interior courtyard surrounded by covered walkways. The flowering garden within invites contemplation and appreciation of a different time.
The Cloisters includes a broad terrace with expansive views across the Hudson. The view is so prized that in 1901, J.P. Morgan purchased 12 miles of the New Jersey coastline to protect it from excessive quarrying and in 1933 John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated 700 additional acres of NJ to preserve The Cloisters' view.
Be sure to include time in your visit to explore beautiful Fort Tryon Park.
Accessible by subway, bus, or car
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Frozen in Time - Morning at Fort Tryon Park
Most New York visitors never make it north of Central Park. It's hard to blame them, Manhattan has more packed into one square mile than most entire cities do, but they are missing out on one of New York's most beautiful locations - Fort Tryon Park, home of The Cloisters.
Fort Tryon Park sits all the way up on 190th Street, a decent 20-minute subway ride from midtown on the A line. Deep within its charming paths and lush gardens is The Cloisters, the medieval arm of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Cloisters were disassembled in Europe and reassembled in the park by hand, and it is incredible to see up close.
The views from Fort Tryon Park are also spectacular, especially looking over the Hudson River at the George Washington Bridge and the Palisades.
I chose Fort Tryon Park as my favorite morning photography spot in Manhattan Before8, and it should be at the top of your list the next time you visit the city.