The Cloisters

The Cloisters is an absolutely spectacular museum in the far north end of Manhattan. And it has a wonderful story too.

It is a branch of the "MET" The NY Metropolitan Museum of Art. And It was built to be just like a Medieval Abbey from the Medieval Period. And... it was actually built from five different european abbeys. They were disassembled, shipped to New York then reassembled together. And that building is the museum. Got to love that story. It happened in the 1930's.

Well the museum now houses a spectacular array of medieval artifacts including manuscripts and much more. But, as I said, the big thing about this musuem is that the building itself is a medieval treasure.

Some of the More Outstanding things they have:

  • An authentic medieval garden. They carefully researched medieval manuscripts to get the plants and layout right.
  • A room full of very famous unicorn tapestries
  • Many manuscripts and illuminated manuscripts

Anyhoo, if you are not driving you are going to have to take a bus or the subway up north to Tryon park. That is the name of the stop.

For me it was a bit of an adventure to get to it because I had taken a bus into new york. I planned an extra day for the cloisters so on that extra day I took the subway all the way up north  to the closest stop. Then I walked maybe half a mile through the grounds of Fort Tryon to get there.

The security guard advised me that I was a half hour before opening so I would have to wait. I found it a wonderful little feeling when I sat on a stone bench in the shadow of the cloisters and pulled out my tattered copy of Pillars of the Earth.

Well, anyway, if you are a fan of all things medieval and you ever take a trip to NY then I highly recommend you plan a day for the Cloisters. Its simply wonderful.

Here are a few Pictures





The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture, Revised and Updated Edition (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Home to an extraordinary collection of treasured masterworks, including the famed Unicorn Tapestries, The Cloisters is devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. This splendid new guide, published to celebrate The Cloisters' seventy-fifth anniversary, richly illustrates and describes the most important highlights of its collection, from paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and exquisitely carved ivories to its monumental architecture evocative of the grand religious spaces and domestic interiors of the Middle Ages. The Cloisters remains a testament to design innovation-a New York City landmark with sweeping views of the Hudson River-featuring original elements of Romanesque and Gothic architecture dating from the 12th through the 15th century. Three of the structures enclose beautiful gardens cultivated with species known from tapestries, medieval herbals, and other historic sources. These exotic spaces, the art masterpieces, and the fragrant plants offer visitors an oasis of serenity and inspiration. This book both encapsulates and enhances that experience.



Weapons and Armor in a Scottish Museum - It is a small museum on the top floor of a building that doubles as a library. But what a gem. They have some amazing weapons and armor including this chilling breastplate. Check it out here









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