The Met Cloisters

The Met Cloisters: A Tranquil Oasis of Medieval Art and Gardens in Northern Manhattan


Nestled in the lush landscapes of Fort Tryon Park, The Met Cloisters stands as a beacon of medieval art and architecture in the heart of New York City. Located at 99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, this unique branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art transports visitors to a bygone era, immersing them in the serenity of medieval European monastic life. In this article, we’ll embark on a journey to explore the wonders of The Met Cloisters, from its location and accessibility to its historical significance, nearby attractions, opening hours, and the enchanting experiences that await within its medieval walls.

Location and Accessibility

Full Address:
The Met Cloisters, 99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, United States

Major Cross Streets:

Margaret Corbin Drive: The main entrance to The Met Cloisters is located on Margaret Corbin Drive within Fort Tryon Park.
Freeways or Highways:

Henry Hudson Parkway: The museum is accessible via the Henry Hudson Parkway, providing a scenic route along the Hudson River and leading to the Fort Tryon Park area.
Proximity to Nearby Attractions

Within a three-mile radius of The Met Cloisters, visitors can explore a blend of natural beauty, cultural landmarks, and historical sites. Some notable nearby attractions include:

Fort Tryon Park: Surrounding The Met Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park offers sprawling green spaces, scenic overlooks, and walking paths, providing a tranquil setting for visitors to unwind.

The Cloister Restaurant: Located within Fort Tryon Park, The Cloister Restaurant offers a delightful dining experience with views of the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge.

The Little Red Lighthouse: Perched beneath the George Washington Bridge, the Little Red Lighthouse is a historic landmark and a charming spot for riverside strolls.

High Bridge Park: Situated to the south, High Bridge Park features the restored High Bridge, a pedestrian bridge with panoramic views of the city.

George Washington Bridge: To the north, the iconic George Washington Bridge connects Manhattan to New Jersey, offering a picturesque backdrop for the surrounding area.

Historical Significance

The Met Cloisters, conceived by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. and designed by architect Charles Collens, opened its doors in 1938. Key points of historical significance include:

Architectural Authenticity: The Met Cloisters is renowned for its commitment to architectural authenticity. The structure incorporates elements from several medieval European abbeys, creating an immersive environment that mirrors the ambiance of a medieval monastery.

Rockefeller’s Vision: John D. Rockefeller Jr. envisioned The Met Cloisters as a space dedicated to showcasing medieval European art, allowing visitors to experience the cultural and artistic achievements of the Middle Ages.

Art Collection: The museum’s collection comprises over five thousand objects, including illuminated manuscripts, sculptures, textiles, and decorative arts. Each piece reflects the craftsmanship and cultural nuances of medieval Europe.

Gardens: The Cloisters boasts meticulously cultivated gardens inspired by medieval horticulture, featuring a diverse array of plants and herbs that would have been cultivated during the medieval period.

Opening and Closing Hours

The Met Cloisters welcomes visitors throughout the week, providing an opportunity to explore its medieval treasures and serene gardens.

Regular Hours: The museum typically operates from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the medieval splendors.

Seasonal Variations: Visitors are advised to check the official website for any seasonal variations in opening and closing hours, as well as special events and programs.

Closures: The Met Cloisters may be closed on major holidays, and occasional closures for maintenance or special events. Visitors planning a trip should consult the museum’s website for the latest information.

Exploring The Met Cloisters

Visitors to The Met Cloisters are treated to a unique and immersive experience that combines art, architecture, and nature. Some highlights of The Met Cloisters experience include:

Architectural Marvels: The museum’s architecture, inspired by medieval European structures, captivates visitors with its cloisters, arcades, and chapels. The building itself is a work of art, transporting visitors to a distant time and place.

The Trie Cloister: An outdoor cloister within The Met Cloisters, the Trie Cloister features medieval sculptures and a central garden, providing a serene space for contemplation.

The Unicorn Tapestries: One of the most celebrated exhibits, The Unicorn Tapestries, is a set of seven tapestries that tell the tale of the hunt for the mythical unicorn. Each tapestry is a masterpiece of medieval artistry.

The Gothic Chapel: The Gothic Chapel, a reproduction of a medieval chapel from the Spanish Pyrenees, showcases stained glass windows, sculptures, and architectural elements.

Medieval Gardens: The gardens at The Met Cloisters are meticulously designed to reflect medieval horticulture. Visitors can stroll through herb gardens, cloister gardens, and the Trie Cloister garden, each offering a sensory journey through time.

Special Exhibitions: The Met Cloisters hosts special exhibitions that complement its permanent collection, providing visitors with new insights into medieval art and culture.

Tips for Visitors

To make the most of a visit to The Met Cloisters, visitors are advised to consider the following tips:

Plan Sufficient Time: The Met Cloisters offers a rich and immersive experience. Visitors are encouraged to plan sufficient time to explore the various exhibits, gardens, and architectural features.

Guided Tours: The museum offers guided tours that provide in-depth insights into the exhibits and the medieval period. Joining a guided tour can enhance the overall experience.

Seasonal Considerations: The gardens at The Met Cloisters change with the seasons, offering different blooms and atmospheres throughout the year. Consider visiting during different seasons to appreciate the changing landscapes.

Photography: Photography is allowed in most areas of the museum, but visitors should be mindful of their surroundings and respect any restrictions in certain exhibits.

Cafeteria and Gift Shop: The museum features a cafeteria where visitors can enjoy a meal or snack amidst the scenic surroundings. The gift shop offers unique medieval-inspired items and souvenirs.

Events and Programs: Check the official website for any special events, programs, or workshops that may be taking place during your visit.


The Met Cloisters, situated at 99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, beckons art enthusiasts, history lovers, and nature seekers alike to embark on a transcendent journey through the medieval world. In the heart of Fort Tryon Park, this museum seamlessly blends art, architecture, and gardens, offering visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

As visitors wander through the cloisters, admire illuminated manuscripts, and stroll through medieval gardens, they are transported to an era of chivalry, craftsmanship, and spiritual contemplation. The Met Cloisters stands not just as a museum but as a testament to the enduring beauty and cultural richness of medieval Europe.

A visit to The Met Cloisters is a harmonious blend of artistic appreciation, historical exploration, and natural serenity—an experience that lingers in the memory, inviting contemplation long after leaving the medieval haven within Fort Tryon Park.

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