We couldn’t have timed our visit to the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse better. The late afternoon slanted in through the stained glass windows casting this wonderful kaleidoscope of coloured light across the central columns. What a delight to behold. Yet within a few minutes, it was gone.
Luckily, it wasn’t the only thing of beauty to enjoy in the church. The sumptuously vaulted ceiling is one of the star features of local postcards. You can only marvel at the imagination and technical skills of the architects of past centuries. I doubt their modern equivalents would know where to begin.
The custodians of the Church of the Jacobins have recognised the bain of the visiting tourists who gaze admiringly heavenwards: a crooked neck. So they have kindly installed a huge circular mirror at waist level, making observation even more of a pleasure.
Remarkably, it’s not only the vaulted ceiling you can see in the mirror. By moving your line of sight around, you can actually take in a view of the entire church. Gaze into it long enough and you lose all sense of where you are. All you know is you’re in a magical place.