Rustem Pasa Camii, Istanbul
The Rustem Pasa Mosque was high on my list of places to see in Istanbul and although not one of the largest mosques we saw in Istanbul, was definitely one of the nicest. After a couple of days of wandering the surrounding area, we finally stumbled onto this mosque. The entrance is located on a narrow street above the shops around the Spice Bazaar. A sprial staircase will take you from the street to the terrace entrance of the mosque.
Rustem Pasa Mosque was built in 1561 by Sinan for the Grand Vizier Riistem Pasa. Sinan is responsible for the building of hundreds of mosques (including Suleymaniye Mosque), palaces, harems, schools, etc. He is considered the greatest of all Ottoman architects and his magnificent buildings will surely leave a lasting impression on you.
This particular mosque has a single minaret and a dome that rests on 4 semi-domes. But it is most famous for its high quality (2,300) Iznik tiles. The tiles cover entire walls, columns, and the mihrab and minbar as well. The tiles have a red color from the early Iznik period which was only used for a short time. The tile patterns range from abstract to floral and it is said that no other mosque in Istanbul has such a stunning display of tiles. Another unusual feature of the mosque is the numerous windows.
Rustem Pasa Mosque is definitely worth a visit!
Open daily, closed during prayer times
No admission fee
Please respect mosque protocol.
"The Rustem Pasha Mosque" is an Ottoman mosque located in Hasırcılar Carsisi in the Tahtakale Eminonu neighborhood.
If you see the photo, you will easily recognize that its a small mosque with one Minaret and seems like to be hidden as like in the "shadow" of the huge "Suleymaniye Mosque" which stands very close behind ...
The Rustem Pasha Mosque was built by a famous Croatian, Rustem Pasha (1500-1561), one of the Grand Viziers of the Ottoman Empire and married to the daughter of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, Mihrimah Sultan.
In 1561, it was designed by Mimar Sinan ("Sinan the Architect") for Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha using a style that is very different from the simplicity of Sinan the Architect and that period. Iznik tiles are the decorative elements that zoom out from the simplicity of the mosque.
Here on my "Travelogue" you can see more photos of this great architecture ... :
The main entrance to the mosque is located in the center of the northeastern elevation of the mosque. The marketplace consists of a cross-vaulted warehouse occupying the ground floor of the main edifice of the mosque. So, as the entrance of the mosque is just in the middle of the famous "Tahtakale" marketplace, you have to check the correct location and as you find it, you need to climb up the stairs to reach the courtyard of the mosque.
Its a "must see" as you are in Eminonu and close to Spice Market areas .. :)
Mimar Sinan designed this mosque in 1561 for Grand vizier Rustem Pasha. Mosque isn’t big, exterior is quite simple, but interior is amazingly decorated with Iznik tiles, these decorations here are called one of the most beautiful in Istanbul.
It was hard to find this mosque, the entrance is located in the narrow street, anyway, it was worth to have a look into it.
Beautiful. The prayer hall of Rustem Pasha is small and harmoniously proportioned. The walls are covered with Iznik tiles with a high proportion of the red color, which is unusual because of the difficulty of creating this color. There are more of these early Iznik tiles than in any other mosque. The columns, minbar, and mihrab are also covered in tiles, all with geometric and floral designs. There are over 2300 of these strikingly colorful tires. The simple elegant dome is supported by four mini-domes and is lit by over 70 windows, 24 in the main dome and the rest along the walls. The arches supporting the domes are composed of red and white stones, carrying on the red theme.
A recent article on Istanbul in Conde Nast Traveller magazine makes the point that for "tile freaks", this mosque far outshines the more famous Blue Mosque. Humbly, we agree.
The Rustem Pasha mosque was restored in the 1960's and open freely to the public, but remains foremost a mosque serving its community. It is a lasting memory from our trip and should not be missed.
Rüstem Pasa Mosque is another magnificent design by Architect Sinan. The amazing Iznik tiles catch you at first sight. Although it is not a huge mosque, the details of its architecture attract hundreds of tourists everyday. The mosque was completed in 1563 and it is really in good condition. There is an entrance gate especially for tourists and no admission fee is requested. If you avoid the prayer times, you will have more freedom for photography. I suggest every tourist to spare at least half an hour and visit this beautiful mosque during their stay in Istanbul.
This mosque is located at the western end of the Spice Bazaar and is one of Istanbul's hidden treasures. It was designed by Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan for Grand Vizier Damat Rustem Pasha (husband of one of the daughters of Suleiman the Magnificent, Princess Mihrimah). It was built between 1561 and 1563 and features exquisite Iznik tiles that seem to be everywhere you look inside.
Commissioned by Rüstem Paşa, the nephew and grand vizier of Soliman the Magnificent, and designed by the imperial architect, Mimar Sinan, this little mosque is considered a gem among the mosques of Istanbul. It was completed in 1560 in an extravagant design that saw much of the interior covered in dazzling Iznik tiles of various patterns. Rüstem Paşa was known to be corrupt and believed to have embezzled money from the treasury, some of which went into building this mosque! Rüstem Paşa Camii was constructed above street level, with shops on the ground floor to provide income for the maintenance of the mosque. It is located near the Egyptian (Spice) Market.
This smallish mosque is one of the most beautiful I visited in Istanbul. It is also a creation of the famous Sinan.
The tiles in this mosque are magnificent.
Most of the walls and pillars are covered with coloured Ýznik tiles. You can buy small tiles with the motifs which are used in the mosque.
This exquisite jewel box is far below the tourist radar, located northwest of the Spice Market, in a busy commercial district of Eminonu in a setting of narrow streets lined by small stores. On our visit, we were alone with a few men at prayer, able to appreciate the amazing beauty of this masterpiece by Sinan, the royal architect of Suleyman the Magnificent. It was built between 1561-3 commissioned by Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha, Suleyman's son-in-law, or by his wife Princess Mihrimah after his death.
The mosque is relatively small ( a grand vizier could not build a more impressive mosque than a sultan ) and set on an octagonal base over a group of stores. There is a single dome and only one minaret. The exterior is simple, except at the entrance where the wall is covered by Iznik tiles and the exquisite doors ( partly covered in image 1 ) are carved with inlays.
There are no lines and no crowds at Rustem Pasha Mosque - just walk up, put your shoes in the untended box at the entrance, and walk into an almost empty prayer room. This mosque is everything that the Blue Mosque is not, and is an absolute must-see.
RUSTEM PASHA - (1500-1561) - was the Bosnian son in law of Suleyman most famous for conspiring with Roxelana, the sultan's wife, to paint Prince Mustafa as the leader of a revolt and have him removed as heir apparent. Mustafa was beheaded, and Roxelana's son Selim became the new prince and first in line for the sultancy. The beginning of the decline of the Ottoman Empire has been dated to Selim, whose major interests were alcohol consumption and visits to the harem. No library building for this guy. History has named him Selim the Sot. Enough said.
This is the mosque built by Rustem Pasa, grand vizier to Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, in the 1560s. It was designed, like many, by the great Mimar Sinan and like the mosque of Rustem's successor, Sokollu Mehmet (see my tip), it is especially renowned for its interior richly decorated with extensive use of excellent, original Iznik tiles. It also has an interesting entrance, as it is raised up above the crowded market area of narrow streets where it is located. One must enter through doors leading up narrow, twisting stairwells to its surprisingly spacious raised courtyard. It is overall one of the most interesting and enjoyable mosques in the city to visit.
Rustem Pasha is the Mosque built by the famous architect Sinan by the order of sultan Suleyman. It has beautiful interior which is decorated with magnificent iznic tiles.
Rustem Pasha is known for bringing ukranian beauty Anastasia Lisovskaya to the sultan. She was captured by turks in the Ukraine and became the sultan's wife. She's known as Roxalana.
Rustem Pasha Mosque seemed to me a model of the Blue Mosque.
Rustem Pasha Mosque is one of the mosques the architect Mimar Sinan built. It is very beautiful inside, decorated with blue tiles from Iznik. There are also tiles covering part of the façade, the mirhab and the minbar.
It is easy to miss the entrance since it is on a first floor. Leaving the Egyptian bazaar follow Hasircilar Çarsisi street, paying attention to the doors on your right hand side.
Rustem Pasa is a small charming and even unassuming mosque seeing as it has a lone minaret and is located above the street chatter amongst the multitude of shops and street sellers in the nearby narrow streets. But this is one of Mimar Sinan's architectural masterpieces. It was built in 1560 for Rustem Pasa, the son-in-law and grand vizier of Suleyman the Magnificent. Fabulous Iznik tiles are used on the exterior as well as the interior of this small space which makes it appear much more grand than its size would indicate. Rita said that if she were Muslim, this is the mosque she would be worshipping at.
Rustem Pasa Camii should be on the list of every visitor's must-see sights.
This is a masterpiece of the legendary architect Sinan.
It is a hard thing for me to admit that an architect is marvelous because I am a civil engineer. Civil engineers and architects are like cats and dogs. But I can make an exception for Sinan.
Sinan was not only an architect; also he was the civil engineer, topographer, geotechnical engineer and much more. He was an engineering genius and also an artist.
It is hard to understand (even now) his solutions to make luminous, successfully ventilated, enduring buildings to stand for ages.
One of his beautiful mosques, Rustempasa Mosque (built in 1560) is very close to Misir Carsisi (Egyptian Market). You have to walk the road near the Egyptian Market. It is at the right side while you are looking the main entrance of the Market and the sea is just behind you. Turn right near the second gate (Hasircilar Kapisi) of Market. You will see the mosque at your left side. It has not a huge entrance. Also it is surrounded by many markets, so it could be hard to notice it. Just climb the stairs and enjoy the peaceful sanctuary, which is so far from the crowd of Eminonu, also so close to it.
Even if you don’t enter the mosque, there are many Iznik (Nicea) tiles at the walls.
This was the one place where the Iznik tilework stood out the most. Believe me, they are everywhere, in every combination imaginable - a visual feast. We also had the entire place to ourselves, and it was a privilege to be able to check out the tiles at nose length in solitude.
It may be difficult to find at first, but don't give up.