The courtyard of the Cloisters on a beautiful spring day.
The Cloisters, located in very Upper Manhattan in Fort Tryon Park, is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, housing most of its collections of medieval art, architecture and artifacts in this magnificent building situated on a hill overlooking the Hudson River. It incorporates sections of five different abbeys, which were disassembled and shipped to New York where they were reconstructed between 1934 and 1939. The site was designated an NYC landmark in 1974 and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The park, consisting of 66.5 acres, was created by J.D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1917 when he purchased the Billings Estate and hired the son of one of the designers of Central Park to create it. He donated the park to the city in 1935. The collection consists of 5,000 European medieval objects, dating mostly from the 12th to the 15th centuries. The most famous include the Flemish Unicorn tapestries. It's also home to 15,000 books, as a part of the Metropolitan Museum's thirteen libraries and its archives contain administration papers, the personal papers of George Grey Barnard and other records. It takes a bit of time and effort to get here, but it's one of my favorite places in the city. It's especially glorious in the spring, when the flowers in the park are blooming. If you have time, I do recommend the walk from the train station through the park, which takes about 15 minutes, but there's bus service also.
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