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.

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

Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

Rustem Pasha Mosque. Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

Blue and green were relatively easy colors to incorporate into tiles at the time, but red was much more difficult (and therefore much rarer). Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

Street vendors selling shoes on the street adjacent to the mosque. Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

The prayer hall. Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

A massive chandelier hangs low over the middle of the prayer hall. Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

The courtyard. Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

A closer view of the middle of the dome ceiling. Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

Rustem Pasha Mosque. Photo by David Coleman. How to license & download this image.

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