I remember the first time I visited Saint Chapelle. I was thirteen years old in bootleg jeans and converse high tops on my first 'grown up' trip to Paris. I was amazed by so many things; by the fact that they gave you free bread at the restaurants, that everyone offered to serve me wine, that people seriously considered sleeping the bois de boulogne, that you could buy a von dutch hat for $20 (they were popular at the time. I'm bearing all here). But most of all, I was amazed by Sainte Chapelle. Nine years later, even after a spell in Italy, surely the home of spectacular churches, Sainte Chapelle remains one of my favourites. Maybe for those romanesque arches, maybe for that fleur de lis ceiling, maybe for the hand-painted floors, frescoed with the silhouettes of castles and flowers, maybe for that colour palette of gold and blue, red and green. But definitely, definitely for those stained glass windows. I often wonder about the definition of sublime, the definition of awe inspiring. What is it, really? Is it really standing on the edge of the mountain and looking over? Is it really premised on fear, or at the very least, grandness so, well, grand, that it brings about the prospect of fear? I think it's more about beauty so beautiful that it truly shocks you. After that who knows, but that first thought when you stand on the edge of the mountain, or catch a glimpse of the castle, or enter a chapel whose walls are built of stained glass and the light is streaming in, filtered in the colour of jewels, is always going to be just - simply - wow.