There are more than 3,000 mosques in Istanbul from the small one to the big one like Şemsipaşa Mosque and Süleymaniye Mosque, from the Byzantine to the Ottoman periods such as Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmet Mosque which are worth a visit because of their historical, architectural and cultural value. It is not easy to choose a breath-taking mosque to visit in Istanbul but the Rüstem Paşa Mosque in Eminönü makes sure you won’t have to search very far for an excellent option.
The reason for naming Rostam Pasha
To celebrate his charitable donations and his role as the empire’s Grand Vizier, Rüstem Paşa’s wife, the sole daughter of Suleiman the Great, commissioned a mosque in his name after he passed away at age 61 in 1561. The Rüstem Paşa Mosque was designed by the talented imperial architect Mimar Sinan, who is the designer of many notable constructions.
An Introduction and History of the Rustem Pasha Mosque
The Rustem Pasha Mosque back to the 1560s. Suleiman the Magnificent was in charge of the Ottoman Empire during this time. The empire was expanding then, taking up territory across three continents.
The wealthiest politician in Ottoman history, Rustem Pasha, was extremely wealthy. This ensured that the mosque was built with the best materials possible.
It was customary practice for leaders to construct exquisite mosques throughout the Ottoman era. However, it was forbidden for the external design of these mosques to don’t overshadow the imperial mosques.
In contrast to the Suleymaniye Mosque atop the hill, Rustem Pasha’s mosque would have been rather small while he has immense riches. Rustem Pasha wanted the interior decorating to reflect the mosque’s grandeur. For centuries, the mosque has been one of the most used mosques by local tradesmen.
Ottoman Tiles in the Rustem Pasha Mosque
Ottoman tiles were used to adorn the mosque’s walls. The most recognizable ornamental feature of Classical Ottoman architecture is its tiles were primarily made in the cities of Iznik and Kutahya.
The mosque’s tiles were to be made using Iznik Tiles, which are of the best caliber, per Rustem Pasha’s request. However, another specialized workshop was constructed in Kutahya when the workshops in this city were unable to meet the demand.
Despite the small size of Rustem Pasha Mosque, but it takes many hours for visitors to appreciate the tiles because the mosque’s interior features a variety of themes.
Interior part of the Rustem Pasha Mosque
Magnificent blue Iznik tiles are used to embellish the inside of the Rustem Pasha Mosque. The mosque’s walls are entirely covered in these tiles. Hyacinths, pomegranate blooms, and tulip figures may be seen on the tiles.
The finest examples of Ottoman ceramics, Iznik tiles, are found in three mosques in Istanbul. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is known as the “Blue Mosque” because of its interior design.
The second one is the mosque named after Sokullu Mehmed Pasha, another Grand Vizier of the Ottoman era, which was constructed at Sultanahmet area.
The third one is Rustem Pasha Mosque, adorned with enormous tile panels. According to Newsweek Magazine, this mosque is one of the “100 hidden pearls of the globe.”
The best Things you can Do around the Rustem Pasha Mosque
Visiting local bazaars, exploring the street of the Eminonu, and having traditional lunch are some of the best activities that visitors can do around the Rustem Pasha Mosque. Famous restaurants, bazaars, and attractions near the Rustem Pasha Mosque are listed here:
1. Mahmutpasa Bazaar
The slope between Spice Bazaar and Grand Bazaar is referred known as Mahmutpasa Bazaar. You may find a lot about Istanbul’s clothes markets in this bazaar. Mahmutpasa Bazaar is a crowded local market. Whenever you go to this bazaar, you can see locals who are shopping there. Not only locals but also travelers are always seen in this bazaar.
2. Spice Bazaar
The second bazaar which is situated close to the Rustem Pasha Mosque is Spice Bazaar. During the Ottoman era, spices from Asia were procured through trade channels and brought to the spice bazaar.
Spices go to Egypt by caravans from India and go to Istanbul by ship due to this reason, the spice bazaar is also famous as the “Egyptian Bazaar”. It is interesting to know that the Spice Bazaar is one of Istanbul’s busiest shopping areas. It is advised to visit the Bazaar when you are in Istanbul.
3. Hamdi Restaurant
Hamdi Restaurant is a perfect place for those who pass through the Spice Bazaar or the Rustem Pasha Mosque and want to have a lunch and break. This restaurant is the best place for having lunch.
Among the traditional eateries, you can find local foods in Hamdi Restaurant like Turkish kebabs with a wide variety, and the baklava the restaurant makes.
4. Galata Bridge
Eminonu which is one of the Old City’s primary seashore transit centers is linked to Karakoy by the Galata Bridge. After touring the Spice Bazaar and Rustem Pasha Mosque, you may like to cross the bridge to go to the Beyoglu neighborhood.
Karakoy is the seashore transportation hub of Beyoglu. From Karakoy, you can ascend to Taksim Square, Galata Tower, a museum, and Istiklal Street, in a pedestrian walkway.
5. Grand Post Office
The Grand Post Office is one of Eminonu’s most exquisite old structures. This 19th-century Ottoman structure backs to the Turks’ Central Asian ancestry.
Ottoman architecture quickly became more westernized in the 19th century. Vedat Tek and Mimar Kemalettin, two architects, sought to buck this tendency by fusing Seljuk and Ottoman styles.
The construction of the Legacy Ottoman Hotel is another illustration of this architectural movement, often known as the First National Architectural Movement. Brew Coffee Works, one of Istanbul’s top coffee shops, is also located beneath this structure.
The Opening Time of the Rustem Pasha Mosque
The mosque is open from 10 am to 6 pm but is closed to visitors when people are praying. Visiting the Rustem Pasha Mosque is free, but donations are always appreciated. The best time for visiting the mosque is between 9 am to 11:30 pm.
The location of the Rustem Pasha Mosque
It is not always easy to find the way of going to Rüstem Paşa Mosque, but it is not hard either. From the Eminönü tram stop, proceed through the New Mosque (Yeni Camii) and toward the Spice Bazaar’s entrance, then turn right at Mehmet Efendi Kurukahveci (Turkish coffee shop). You must ascend steps to access the mosque’s little right-side entrance at the end of this road.