Few foreign visitors go out of their way to see Rüstem Pasha Mosque, as it can slip easily under the radar compared to Istanbul’s many vast and dramatic sights. However, this building is well worth a visit because of its intricate beauty. The Rüstem Pasha Mosque is renowned as a fine example of decorative tiling and without a doubt it remains one of the city’s finest architectural treasures.
Rüstem Pasha Mosque is one of the great buildings designed by the legendary architect Mimar Sinan, who served under three sultans and made some of the most iconic structures in Istanbul. The mosque is named after the Grand Vizier Rüstem Pasha, who was married to one of the daughters of Süleyman the Magnificent. The mosque was built in his memory following his death in 1561.
Rüstem Pasha himself is remembered for plotting with Süleyman’s wife Roxelana to denounce the Sultan’s son Prince Mustafa, which led to the latter’s execution and the ascent to the throne of Selim “the Sot.” It’s said that this marked the beginning of the Ottoman Empire’s long decline.
Although he was one of the wealthiest men in the empire, Rüstem Pasha did not have a high enough status to rival the Sultan’s grand mosque. For this reason, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque is smaller and located where it is. It lies at the heart of the marketplace at the foot of the hill upon which the Süleymaniye Mosque stands.
Climb a narrow flight of steps to reach its open courtyard, located on a high terrace overlooking a complex of shops, including the Spice Bazaar. Once inside, admire the mainly red, white and blue tiles. The tiles are set in floral and geometric designs, and stone columns and huge arched doorways interrupt the designs splendidly.
Rüstem Pasha Mosque is in the Tahtakele neighborhood on the European side of Istanbul. The building still functions as a mosque, so you can’t visit during the five daily prayer sessions and on Friday afternoons. The calls to prayer from the loudspeakers indicate when those times have arrived.
How about making your visit to Rustem Pasha Mosque even more special? Remember to try out one or two of these activities:
If you're chasing more activities, have a look at our Istanbul things to do page.
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The staff were amazing always willing to help and there to greet you with a smile. The location is perfect and the view from the balcony was amazing.
I like all of it specially as an antic hotel. The location is perfect with good access to restaurants and historical sites
This hotel was in a great location. Friendly and helpful staff and a fantastic selection of foods offered for breakfast. The only downside for us was that the pool and outside courtyard was being renovated, so we only got to experience this for 15 minutes on our final morning at the hotel - and would ...
Very comfortable stay in an excellent location. Lovely staff and a great view from the restaurant.
The whole stay was wonderful great location and great review. But the area is very noisy for people who wants calm. Because of the huge offer for night life possibilities. After an issue with the check in the hotel team gave me a lot of attention and made their best to make me forget the incident ...
Our room had a Turkish bath, excellent Wi-Fi signal, laundry service and room service. The hotel staff is friendly and professional. The young man named Yusuf was exceptional at his job, as were the men at the front desk, giving us sightseeing tips and offering to arrange tours for us right from ...
The staff are exceptionally helpful and, amongst other things, gave us very early access to our room. The hotel is in an old bank which has been luxuriously converted. For second time visitors to Istanbul this hotel would be an excellent choice to explore a different area to Sultanahmet yet still ...
Staff was sensational, very friendly and helpful. Great roof top terrace for breakfast