12. Being led to the palace, they first viewed it from without. It was large, built of porphyry, with a substructure of jasper; and in front of the entrance were six lofty columns of lapis lazuli. The roof was of plates of gold; the lofty windows were of transparent crystal, and their frames were also of gold. After this, they were introduced into the Palace and conducted from room to room. There they saw ornaments of ineffable beauty, and on the ceilings, decorations of inimitable carving. Along the walls were placed silver tables inwrought with gold, and on them various utensils of precious stones and of entire gems in heavenly forms, besides many other things which no earthly eye has seen, for which reason no one could bring himself to believe such things exist in heaven.
 While they were standing in amazement at the sight of this magnificence, the angel said: "Marvel not. The things which you see were not made and fashioned by any angelic hand but were formed by the Maker of the universe and presented to our prince as a gift. Here therefore is the art of architecture in its very art; and from it are all the rules of that art in the world." He then added: "You may suppose that such things enchant our eyes, and so infatuate them that we believe them to be the joys of our heaven; but because our hearts are not in them, they are only accessory to the joys of our hearts. So far, therefore, as we look upon them as accessory and as the work of God, so far we behold in them the Divine omnipotence and clemency."