The first time I visited the Cloisters, it was a misty day with light rain. I exited the subway station and began my hike in Fort Tryon Park, up to the top of the hill where I would find the Cloisters. The path led me around boulders, and over damp cobblestone steps. Looking back, I could no longer see the subway station or any other sign of city life; mist had closed the path behind me. It seemed with each step I was leaving New York and entering the medieval world of the Cloisters.
The Cloisters is an annex of the Metropolitan Museum of art, specializing in Medieval art and artifacts. The entire building was designed to look like a Medieval cloister, incorporating materials from actual historic buildings in Europe. Visiting the Cloisters is like going back in time, as everything, from the artwork, to the floor, to the plants in the herb garden, hearken back to medieval times.
The most famous room in the Cloisters is the unicorn tapestry room, which is dedicated to three amazingly preserved tapestries. Aside from featuring everyone’s favorite mythical creature, these tapestries are filled with color and detail. I recommend looking into a tour for this room. Tours are led by historians who will point out details you may have never noticed.
Note: There is parking at the Cloisters if you don’t feel like taking the walk in the park I described at the beginning of the article!