Cloisters columns
New York City is not a city known for calm, although we’ve previously shared with you a guide on where to find quiet in the city, along with a map for solitude. And while there are certainly many temples in the city, offering their own form of refuge (as well as some fabulous basement canteens), there are also full-on monasteries in the city, each with a quirky history to tell.

1. Brooklyn Visitation Monastery

The Brooklyn Visitation Monastery in Bay Ridge is home to the Sisters of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, an order founded in 1610. The Brooklyn monastery was founded in 1855. According to their website, you can take a weekend retreat there on the 7.5 acre enclosed campus if you have “ever wondered what monastic life is like”–just call the monastery and “speak to the Retreat Directress.” By “enclosed,” we mean 22 foot walls! Also on the property is the Brooklyn Visitation Academy, an all-girls Catholic school.