Think unicorns don't exist? Then you haven't been to the tapestry rooms at The Cloisters.
This Upper Manhattan outpost of The Metropolitan Museum showcases one of the largest collections of Medieval art in the United States. The Hunt of the Unicorn pieces – commonly known as the Unicorn Tapestries – are some of the museum's major showpieces. These seven incredibly detailed tapestries date back to the late 15th and early 16th Century. They portray a group of noblemen chasing down the mythic beast.
Maybe not so mythic according to the centuries old renderings. The unicorn is beautifully detailed in a number of the tapestries. You'll find yourself rooting for it as the hunters chase it through the woods and it turns to defend itself.
The tapestries are thought to be an allegory for the death of Christ. If you want to entertain the various intellectual theories behind their existence, be sure to take the audio tour. If you want to get swept up in the magic of the unicorn, and in turn The Cloisters, spend a good chunk of time gazing at that fabric.
After your visit, you can take a stroll through neighboring Fort Tryon Park to contemplate the Medieval artistry. Maybe you'll even catch a glimpse of a fabled creature. Don't get too excited and try to take it home. Unicorns are not allowed on the subway.