Advent journey to the Cloisters

Set in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan and overlooking the Hudson river, there is a magical place where the visitor can take a peaceful and contemplative journey back in time… the Cloisters Museum & Gardens is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the medieval period in Europe.  Beautifully housed in a space created specifically for the display
of masterpieces of the era, the collection includes sculpture, stained glass, tapestries (including the famous unicorn tapestries), painting, illuminated manuscript and so much more, all within a structure that is itself a work of art.  All the more enhanced by gardens and courtyards, this special place is like an afternoon’s visit to an ancient monastery.  While not a religious facility, the atmosphere here allows the secular world a glimpse of the lives and fascinating works of the devoted.

So when recently invited to join a local parish on a pilgrimage to visit the site in celebration of Advent, I was eager not to miss the opportunity.  A perfect day, complete with blessings and beautiful weather.

Gorgeous pots of citrus and herb topiaries along with forged candelabras adorn the stone corridors.  An amazing stone fountain and fragments of ancient structures convey old world history and atmosphere like no recreation can. Within the galleries, all manner of saints and madonnas capture the imagination with their steady gaze.  This beautiful spot is not to be missed… so when a restful day’s escape is just the thing, consider a visit here.  Right here in Manhattan and yet a world, and even a few centuries, away.

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