Rustem Pasha Mosque (Rüstem Paşa Camii) is a hidden gem of a mosque that some describe as a miniature Blue Mosque, without the crowds. It’s a little tricky to find but it’s well worth it – the stunning beauty of the interior is matched by the feeling of finding a little oasis in the midst of a hectic area.
Rustem Pasha Mosque exterior with Iznik tiles decoration
It was designed by the famous Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan for Rüstem Paşa, Grand Vizier to Süleyman the Magnificent. However, he died in 1561, before it could be completed in 1563. What makes this mosque stand out is the gorgeous interior, covered in Turkey’s famous Iznik tiles. These intricately designed blue tiles come in a wide variety of floral and geometric patterns.
The Grand Vizier entered popular culture again in recent years, in the popular Turkish TV show, Muhteşem Yüzyıl, which was based on the life of Süleyman the Magnificent (Rüstem Paşa was married to one of his daughters).
If you’re interested in seeing other works by this legendary architect, then check out the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Kilic Ali Pasa Mosque complex, and the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque.
The mosque is open from 10 am-6 pm every day but is closed to visitors during prayer times. There is no Rustem Pasha Mosque ticket price, but donations are welcome.
The main entrance of Rustem Pasha Mosque, Istanbul