Travel in Turkey – Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, or Ayasofya, is one of the most impressive landmarks of the world, and a major stop on any visit to Istanbul.  Over 1500 years old, it combines art & architecture of Byzantine and Islamic artists.

Download royalty free images of Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia at night
Hagia Sophia at night

Santa Sophia possesses the power essential to any of the man-made Wonders of the World that I have seen, which is the power to sweep aside all preparations made in your mind, and to hit you amidships with an original force which makes you stop and stare.  Venice’s Grand Canal does that, and the Taj Mahal and the skyline of Manhattan seen from Central Park; and so does Santa Sophia.  First there is the hint of vast internal space glimpsed between massy columns, the effect of its magnitude broadening upon you as you advance under shadows in the half-domes like clouds, under gilt like dingy sunlight, until you are far from shore in the midst of the place, exposed to the total blow it deals you.  Reverberant, multitudinous , the crowds with their many-echoing voices pay homage to the building itself, prayers of Muslim and Christian alike arising into those dim muttering domes lie the smoke of incense mounting into the cranium of an indifferent god. Thereafter the building’s presence up there on the skyline dominating the city – knowledge of what those domes contain every time I look up and see them there – has made me feel that I have identified the genius of the place, much as you feel that Vesuvius brooding above Naples is that city’s genius loci.

Journey to Kars – Philip Glazebrook

Travel in Turkey – Istanbul

When we visit Istanbul, we try to stay in the Sultanahmet area since it’s in easy walking distance of many major attractions, including the Grand Bazaar. And  Hagia Sophia is a short walk towards the Golden Horn, while nearby is the sprawling complex of the Topkapi palace which takes a day in itself.  Topkapi host everything from the sultan’s harem, Mohammed’s sword, jeweled clothing of the sultans,to the famous Topkapi jewels and the kitchens that fed thousands of Janissaries.  And that doesn’t include time for the separate museums on its ground such as the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Middle Eastern Countries. Splendid imperial mosques include the Blue Mosque, the Suleymanie, and Hagia Sophia. Vivaldi played in the background as we toured the enormous Basilica cisterns.

Sultan Ahmet Camii ( Blue Mosque ) glows in early evening light
Sultan Ahmet Camii ( Blue Mosque ) glows in early evening light
Galata Tower originally built as a fire watchtower in Istanbul, Turkey
Galata Tower originally built as a fire watchtower in Istanbul, Turkey
Head of Medusa as column decoration
Head of Medusa as column decoration
Ancient columns in water

Ancient columns in water

Sometimes magnificent works of art are preserved by a quirk of fate. An Ottoman pasha had the mosaics of St. Saviour whitewashed, and they were only recovered in the 20th century. These mosaics and frescoes of the Chorae  Church form one of the visual highlights of any tour. If you’re interested in calligraphy, you’ll want to visit the small museum devoted to this artform near Bayezit.

In addition to the imperial mosques, many exquisite, smaller mosques are scattered thru the city, and display incredible Iznik tiles and other decoration.

World Religions


Hinduism & Jainism





Elements of Architecture

Classics Illustrated

Choose from the complete list of Classics Illustrated and we’ll send a free quote.   Our prices are competitive and get better with larger orders.  Prices typically are less than 50% of the Overstreet catalog value.  No obligations and, as always, there’s a refund guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

Editions and publication dates for Classics Illustrated can be confusing.

Many auctions claim to present first editions, or those from the ’40s or ’50s when they are really offering much later editions, usually worth substantially less.

The HRN (high reorder number) appears on the order form, on either the back cover, or one of the inside covers. The last issue listed is the HRN. It provides the exact dating for Classics Illustrated (The date listed inside the front cover isn’t reliable, since it didn’t change every time a new edition came out. Some comics from the 1950s and 60s still have a 1940s date of publication).To determine the exact date after establishing the HRN you need a catalog such as Overstreet that lists all the editions, but even without that, the HRN will let you know whether you have a first edition or not.

The original Classic Comics / Classics Illustrated were published by Gilberton in the 1940- 1960s. There were several later reprints by Berkeley, First and others but those are not as collectible as the original series.

Here’s a complete listing of all the titles in the Classics Illustrated

For the World Around Us [WAU] and Classics Illustrated Special series, it’s simpler since there was only one edition. Some of the Specials did have different covers. 

Buy Classics Illustrated in BULK at WHOLESALE prices!

10% discount on 5 or more comics
20% discount on 10 or more

Apsara Naked Dancers

Apsara are beautiful, supernatural female beings.  Youthful and elegant, they’re superb in the art of dancing. They are often the wives of the Gandharvas, the court musicians of Indra.

  • Download royalty free images of Apsaras

Apsaras dance in the palaces of the gods, entertaining and sometimes seducing gods and men. As caretakers of fallen heroes, they’re like the valkyries of Norse mythology. Apsara are ethereal beings who inhabit the skies. Often depicted taking flight, or at service of a god similar to angels

Maithuna or Mithuna is a Sanskrit term used in Tantra most often translated as sexual union in a ritual context.

Apsara Dancers in Angkor Wat, Cambodia



More Khajuraho temples