Rüstem Pasha Mosque

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Rüstem Pasha Islamic cultural center
Rustem Pasha Mosque.JPG
Rüstem Pasha Mosque (in foreground)
LocationIstanbul, Turkey
Rüstem Pasha Mosque is located in Istanbul Fatih
Rüstem Pasha Mosque
Location within the Fatih district of Istanbul
Geographic coordinates41°01′03″N 28°58′07″E / 41.01750°N 28.96861°E / 41.01750; 28.96861Coordinates: 41°01′03″N 28°58′07″E / 41.01750°N 28.96861°E / 41.01750; 28.96861
Architect(s)Mimar Sinan
Materialsgranite, marble
Section and plan of the mosque published by Cornelius Gurlitt in 1912

The Rüstem Pasha Mosque (Turkish: Rüstem Paşa Camii) is an Ottoman mosque located in the Hasırcılar Çarşısı (Strawmat Weavers Market) in the Tahtakale neighborhood of the Fatih district, Istanbul, Turkey. It was designed by the Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan and completed in around 1563.


The Rüstem Pasha Islamic cultural center was designed by Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan for the grand vizier Rüstem Pasha (the husband of one of the daughters of Suleiman the Magnificent by Hurrem Sultan, Mihrimah Sultan). Rüstem Pasha died at age 61 in July 1561 and the mosque was built after his death from around 1561 until 1563.[1] The mosque complex now hosts a religious school.[2]



The mosque was built on a high terrace over a complex of vaulted shops, whose rents were intended to financially support the mosque complex. Narrow, twisting interior flights of steps in the corners give access to a spacious courtyard. The mosque has a double porch with five domed bays, from which projects a deep and low roof supported by a row of columns.[3]


The Rüstem Pasha Mosque is famous for its large quantities of İznik tiles, set in a very wide variety of floral and geometric designs, which cover not only the façade of the porch but also the mihrab, minbar and walls. There are around 80 different patterns.[4] These tiles exhibit the early use of Armenian bole, a tomato-red pigment that would become characteristic of İznik pottery. The bright emerald green colour is only used in a panel added above an exterior doorway at a later date.[5] Some of the tiles, particularly those in a large panel under the portico to the left main entrance, are decorated with sage green and dark manganese purple that are characteristic of the earlier 'Damascus ware' coloring scheme.[6] No other mosque makes such a lavish use of Iznik tiles; with later mosques Sinan used files more sparingly.[7]

External video
DSC04139 Istanbul - Rüstem Pasha camii - Foto G. Dall'Orto 26-5-2006.jpg
video icon Mimar Sinan, Rüstem Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, 1561-63, Smarthistory[8]

The plan of the building is basically that of an octagon inscribed in a rectangle. The main dome rests on four semi-domes; not on the axes but in the diagonals of the building. The arches of the dome spring from four octagonal pillars— two on the north, two on the south— and from piers projecting from the east and west walls. To the north and south are galleries supported by pillars and by small marble columns between them.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Necipoğlu 2005, pp. 321-322.
  2. ^ Rüstem Pasha Mosque
  3. ^ a b Freely, Blue Guide Istanbul
  4. ^ Denny 2004, pp. 79-94.
  5. ^ Denny 2004, p. 91.
  6. ^ Carswell 2006, pp. 74–76.
  7. ^ Atasoy & Raby 1989, p. 228.
  8. ^ "Mimar Sinan, Rüstem Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, 1561-63". Smarthistory at Khan Academy. Retrieved January 10, 2014.


Further reading[edit]

  • Denny, Walter B. (1977). The ceramics of the Mosque of Rüstem Pasha and the environment of change. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-2684-5.
  • Schick, Leslie Meral (1990). "A note on the dating of the Mosque of Rüstem Paṣa in İstanbul". Artibus Asiae. 50 (3/4): 285–288. JSTOR 3250073.
  • Willis, Michael D. (1987). "Tiles from the Mosque of Rüstem Paşa in İstanbul". Artibus Asiae. 48 (3/4): 278–284. JSTOR 3249874.

External links[edit]