07 December 2014

East Coast Adventure: The Cloisters in New York City

I've been here years ago, with my sister, yet when my partner and I were visiting New York City last September, we opted to head here one morning. It was at the tip of Manhattan, and therefore it was a little hike to get here. But that being said, it was still a wonderful experience.

This is a museum that is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They have a ridiculous recommended donation, yet it is actually a museum that allows you to pay as you wish. Hence, instead of paying the recommended 25 USD per person, I paid 5 USD for two adults. It pays having a sister who is a local.

Anyway, this is not an old structure. Rather, they built the structure to house old pieces of other structures. New York City received several pieces of old churches and monasteries and abbeys, dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries. The current building is designed to house these structures, incorporating them into the design. Hence, it does feel like one is in the cloisters, with religion floating all over the place.

Room after room, there are pillars, altars, and icons on display. There are sculptures and other works featuring religious and medieval art. I suppose I wasn't bothered too much by it, even though I am not the biggest fan of religion. I suppose I appreciated the things on display more for their artistic rather than religious value.

There is also a garden and an outdoor section. Unfortunately, the sun was a little bashful that day, and therefore it was rather dark. That being said, it was still nice to be outside, on a high place, overlooking the Hudson River and looking out towards New Jersey.

This is actually one of my more favorite parts of New York City. The city is huge and has plenty of people, but this place tends to be quiet and serene, with not a lot of visitors entering its doors. I recommend heading here, but keep it secret if you can.


  1. It doesn't even look like it's in NYC... you're right, such a unique place, quiet and secret!

    1. Zhu,

      Yep, definitely a great way to escape the New York tourist crowd!