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The Met Cloisters

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 4:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Varies

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Visit The Met Cloisters in the late afternoon to catch the enchanting golden hour light that bathes the medieval architecture and gardens; it's a favorite local secret for an otherworldly experience. Also, check the museum's calendar for special concerts and events that are often held in the intimate setting of the Fuentidueña Chapel—they're not widely advertised but are magical to attend."

What is The Met Cloisters?

The Met Cloisters, often simply called "the Cloisters," is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. This sanctuary of calm sits nestled in Fort Tryon Park, in the northern part of Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River. Its design, incorporating elements from five French medieval cloisters, is not just an homage to the past, but an immersion into it. The serene gardens and extensive collection of medieval art, including illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, and sculptures, make it a unique jewel in New York City's cultural crown.

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History of The Met Cloisters

The Cloisters was the brainchild of John D. Rockefeller Jr., who sought to create an experience that would offer the public a retreat and a deep insight into medieval art and life. Its remarkable origins can be traced back to the early 20th century when sculptor and art dealer George Grey Barnard began collecting medieval architectural elements during his stays in France. Eventually, Rockefeller purchased Barnard's collection and donated it to the Metropolitan Museum, along with the land and funds necessary to build a museum dedicated to medieval art. The museum officially opened to the public in 1938, with its buildings designed by architect Charles Collens to resemble a European monastery, thereby harmoniously cradling the collection within an appropriately historic frame.

Why is The Met Cloisters Important?

The Met Cloisters is not merely a museum; it is a beacon of historical and cultural preservation. Its importance lies in how it encapsulates a slice of medieval Europe and presents it to the modern world without the need for a time-traveling machine. Art enthusiasts and historians alike treasure it for its commitment to showcasing a comprehensive picture of medieval life. The settings - from the chapels and apses to the cloistered gardens - are meticulously curated to ignite the imagination and transport visitors back to a time where artistry and spirituality intertwined. Moreover, the museum plays a crucial educational role, offering an evocative backdrop for the study of the Middle Ages, a period pivotal in shaping the trajectory of Western civilization.

Things to Do & See at The Met Cloisters

  • Explore the Collection: Engage with over 2,000 art pieces dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries. Don't miss the renowned Unicorn Tapestries, a series of woven artworks that depict the hunt of the mythical creature.

  • Stroll the Gardens: The museum features three themed gardens planted according to horticultural information found in medieval texts. Each garden is imbued with contextual significance contrasting beautifully with the surrounding architecture.

  • Enjoy Seasonal Exhibits: Special exhibits often take place, offering fresh perspectives on medieval art and culture, so ensure to check the current programming when planning your visit.

  • Attend Concerts & Lectures: The Cloisters hosts a range of cultural events, including performances of medieval music and educational talks, providing deeper insights into the artefacts and themes represented within the museum.

  • Bask in Architectural Grandeur: The merger of different cloister elements into the museum's design presents a rare opportunity to observe varied medieval architectural styles in one place.

  • Witness the View: Boasting an elevated location, The Met Cloisters offer magnificent views of the Hudson River and the surrounding natural landscape, a perfect scene for contemplation or photography.


Remember, every corner of The Met Cloisters tells a story, an anecdote from an age long past. Your visit here isn't marked merely by what you see, but by the experience of journeying through history.

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Frequently asked questions

What is The Met Cloisters?

The Met Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that focuses on the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe. Located in Fort Tryon Park in New York, it offers visitors an immersive experience with its collection of medieval artifacts and its reconstructed cloistered garden.

How can I get to The Met Cloisters?

The Met Cloisters is located in Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights. Visitors can reach it by taking the M4 bus to the last stop, or by taking the A train to the 190th Street station and walking through the park, or taking the M4 bus one stop north.

What are the admission fees for The Met Cloisters?

Admission to The Met Cloisters is suggested, which means you can pay what you wish to enter. The suggested donation for adults is $25, for seniors $17, and for students $12. Members and children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free.

Are there guided tours available at The Met Cloisters?

Yes, The Met Cloisters offers guided tours, which are included in the price of admission. The schedule for these tours can vary, so it is recommended that visitors check the museum's official website or inquire at the information desk upon arrival.

Can I take photographs at The Met Cloisters?

Photography for personal use is generally allowed at The Met Cloisters. However, flash photography, video cameras, selfie sticks, tripods, and other professional equipment are not permitted unless authorized by the museum.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 4:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Varies

Find it on google maps