Rustem Pasha Mosque

Nestled in a market area near the Spice Market, Rustem Pasha Mosque features exquisite Iznik tiles in its compact yet opulent interior.

Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul with tourists
Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul with tourists
Last Updated:

The Rustem Pasha Mosque (in Turkish: Rüstem Paşa Camii) dates to 1560. It was designed by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan and was the first time he employed an octagonal layout.

It’s not the grandest mosque and deliberately makes no attempt to try to upstage the much larger Süleymaniye Mosque that towers on the hill above. Instead, it’s nestled in a bustling market area near the Spice Market in Eminonu. Instead, the mosque’s wealthy benefactor, Rüstem Pasha, a son-in-law of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566), focused on details, especially on the interior decorations.

The colored tiles used inside are a particular highlight. They were produced during the golden age of Iznik tiling. Because red was hard to glaze into a tile at the time, its use here was particularly distinctive.

Photos of Rustem Pasha Mosque

Main entrance of Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul
[license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]
Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul interior with lights and ceiling
Rustem Pasha Mosque. [license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]
Old ceramic tiles at Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul
Blue and green were relatively easy colors to incorporate into tiles at the time, but red was much more difficult (and therefore much rarer). [license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]
Main entrance of Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul
[license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]
Istanbul street market overhead
Street vendors selling shoes on the street adjacent to the mosque. [license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]
Interior of Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul
The prayer hall. [license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]
Tourists inside Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul
A massive chandelier hangs low over the middle of the prayer hall. [license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]
Shoe market outside the window of Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul
[license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]
Main entrance of Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul
The courtyard. [license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]
Dome ceiling design of Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul
A closer view of the middle of the dome ceiling. [license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]
Interior of Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul
Rustem Pasha Mosque. [license topic=”Rustem Pasha Mosque Istanbul”]

What to Know Before You Go

Where to Next?



Travel Advice for Turkey

You can find the latest U.S. Department of State travel advisories and information for Turkey (such as entry visa requirements and vaccination requirements) here.

The British and Australian governments offer their own country-specific travel information. You can find the British Government's travel advice for Turkey here and the Australian Government's here.

Health & Vaccinations

The CDC makes country-specific recommendations for vaccinations and health for travelers. You can find their latest information for Turkey here.

by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »