The Cloisters is a unique home for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s vast medieval holdings. Built in the mid–1930s, atop one of Washington Heights’ many hills, it seems more a sanctuary on the mountaintop than a museum. The Cloisters indeed recreates the experience of a Gothic monastery, incorporating architectural features of a French cloister, replete with tapestries, stained glass, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts and intricate gardens. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, have a picnic outdoors or in the nearby Fort Tryon Park.
The Cloisters is the branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, the building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters, quadrangles enclosed by a roofed or vaulted passageway, or arcade and from other monastic sites in southern France.
Three of the cloisters reconstructed at the branch museum feature gardens planted according to horticultural information found in medieval treatises and poetry, garden documents and herbals, and medieval works of art, such as tapestries, stained glass windows, and column capitals.
Approximately five thousand works of art from medieval Europe, dating from about 800 A.D. with particular emphasis on the twelfth through fifteenth century, are exhibited in this unique venue.