By Emme Grafton
New York City is known for its bustling, fast-paced culture, but that’s not all the city offers. The Met Cloisters, located in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, is a museum that provides solitude and silence to its visitors.
As a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters contains over 2,000 works of European medieval art. The building itself is a former French monastery, filled with stone archways and intricately carved patterns on the walls. Visitors are free to quietly wander from room to room, and the twisting, intricate nature of the building creates a variety of paths each visitor can take.
My own journey took me from a room filled with medieval tapestries to a small, inner courtyard complete with a cheerful fountain in the center. I soon encountered a set of stone stairs, which led me down into a room that contained numerous medieval books, each opened to reveal colorful pages of script. Further exploration revealed a door that led me outside again, this time to a garden with the herbs labeled according to how they would have been used in a medieval setting.
I ended the day on a balcony looking out over Fort Tryon Park to the Hudson River glittering off in the distance. Even outside, my fellow museum-goers spoke in hushed tones to each other. I decided that it wasn’t so hard to find a peaceful day in “The City That Never Sleeps” after all.
The Met Cloisters is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/met-cloisters.
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