99 Margaret Corbin Drive
Fort Tryon Park
New York, New York 10040
On the northern cliffs of Manhattan, hidden among the lush gardens of Fort Tryon Park, lies a museum tower of medieval enlightenment. The Cloisters feature European antiquities from the 12th through 15th centuries. Its collection of revered medieval art and architecture includes the iconic "Unicorn in Captivity" tapestry.
The museum also exhibits numerous manuscripts and illuminated books from the Middle Ages. Among its guard is the exquisite "Cloisters Cross" from the 12th century. Made of walrus ivory, this rare Romanesque altar cross has ninety-two intricately carved figures and ninety-eight inscriptions. Then there is the Fuentidueña Chapel, which is made of more than three thousand limestone blocks shipped from Spain. A Catalan fresco of the Virgin and Child covers the interior half dome of the apse. This sets as a backdrop for a Spanish crucifix that hangs staunchly from its arch. Outdoor within its courtyard, sits a herb garden with picturesque views overlooking the New Jersey Palisades.
The Cloisters Museum was donated to the city by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1917. Now it's a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum and the attached Fort Tryon Park makes a wonderful and affordable family day trip. Every September, the grounds hold an admission-free Medieval Festival with dancing maidens, battling knights and jousting tournaments. To check for the Medieval Festival's schedule visit link: www.whidc.org/festival/tournament.html
It's easily accessible with the "A" subway to 190th Street or the "M4" bus. By car take the Henry Hudson Parkway and exit at the "Fort Tryon Park - The Cloisters" ramp. There are free parking spaces at the museum, but they are limited.
Hints: Admissions to the Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are all free. Although the museums usually collects $25 per adult, they have a contract with NYC which prevents them from charging admissions. But they can ask for voluntary donations. That's why the word "Recommended" is included in all pricing signage. Many public subsided attractions were sued by New York citizens for intentionally confusing visitors. Visit link for more detail:
Even though, I strongly suggest one should pay at least a dollar or whatever they can afford.