The Rustem Pasha Mosque is definitely one of the hidden gems of Istanbul, a stunning Ottoman mosque which is located in Eminönü quarter, at the right of the Spice Bazaar, below the Süleymaniye Mosque.
The Mosque was designed by the Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan in honor of Rustem Pasha, the grand vizier to Süleyman the Magnificent, and also the husband of Mihrimah Sultan, the daughter of Sultan Süleyman. The Mosque was completed in 1563, two years after Rustem Pasha's death.
The Rustem Pasha Mosque was built on a high terrace over an interesting complex of vaulted shops which you can reach by stairs. When you enter the mosque after taking your shoes off, you'll be amazed by the glorious Iznik tiles covering all sections of the building (over 2,300 pieces). Inside the mosque, all the walls and columns, even the mihrab (prayer niche) and minber (pulpit) were decorated with Iznik tiles in vivid colours like cobalt blue, turquoise, red, and emerald green. Tulip designs were used frequently because the tulip was a symbol of wealth and abundance according to the Ottomans.
OPENING HOURS OF THE RUSTEM PASHA MOSQUE
It is open every day except during worship times.