Illuminated manuscripts are one of the many things I love, with their intricate patterns, jewel-like detail and touches of gold.
To me, Sainte Chapelle in Paris is like a 3D illuminated manuscript wonder-world.
The day I took these photos, I lined up nearly 2 hours before the cathedral opened to be there before the crowds. Once the doors opened, while most people were admiring the downstairs space, I quickly zipped upstairs to where the real beauty is. It was completely empty for about 15 minutes until the crowds began to trickle in.
Those tiny, gold stars on the vaulted ceiling are all a little different, so it appears they were hand painted rather than stencilled.
Even though every centimetre of wall and ceiling is covered in intricate pattern, there is a feeling of calmness and order to the place because of the simple colour palette and repetition of shapes and design.
It's quite amazing that the pigments have kept their intense colour for hundreds of years. And that blue is very dreamy!