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Rustem Pasha Mosque

Rustem Pasha Mosque: Grand Vizier’s Mosque

Rustem Pasha Mosque is located within the heart of the historical peninsula of Istanbul and built by Architect Sinan in 1561. If you go to the Eminonu you will see the Rustem Pasha Mosque just in front of the Galata Bridge and the ferry stops by the Golden Horn. This mosque is not one of the biggest mosques in Istanbul but it has its own unique properties that make it worth sparing some time and visiting.

Rustem Pasha and Suleymaniye Mosques in one picture

Rustem Pasha Mosque from the Galata Bridge. Bigger Mosque in the back is the Suleymaniye Mosque (Source).

History of Rustem Pasha Mosque

Rustem Pasha Mosque is built by the great Ottoman Artictech Mimar Sinan between 1550 and 1561. Construction order of the mosque given by the Rustem Pasha who was a Grand Vizier and son in law of the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Mimar Sinan also built the Sulmaniye Mosque which is very close to the Rustem Pasha Mosque. This mosque famous between Turkish citizens and tourists because of its Iznik (Nicea) tiles of the 16th century. Entire walls, mihrab, and mimbar of the mosque is all covered with these incredible tiles and they are still standing. Also, the mosque has one single minaret and a central dome with 4 more semi-domes. These domes are covered with 74 windows. Semi-domes and arches of the mosque are supporting by the octagonal columns. In Turkish these columns named “Fil Ayağı”, elephant feet.

Rustem Pasha Mosque interior with Iznik tiles
Interior of the mosque, main dome, and Iznik tiles (Source).

Renovations of the Mosque

Rustem Pasha Mosque was partly damaged at the Great Fire of 1666 and also 1776 earthquake. After two disasters, it quickly repaired and renovated by the Ottoman Sultans. Istanbul have lots of beautiful, exciting and big mosques but the Rustem Pasha Mosque should be on the top of that list despite its small size. As soon as you enter the mosque it’s like entering another world. Incredible Iznik tiles, detailed architecture and feel of the spiritual life of Islam and Muslims.

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Entrance of the Rustem Pasha Mosque
Iznik tiles will welcome you at the entrance (Source).

Where is Rustem Pasha Mosque?

As I told you before it is very close to the Eminonu side of the Galata Bridge. Even while you are walking from Karakoy to Eminonu through the Galata Bridge you can see the mosque. Because of its central location, it is very easy to go to the mosque. At first, you should go to the Eminonu, of course, it depends where will you go from to it.

How to Go to the Rustem Pasha Mosque from Sultanahmet?

The easiest way to take the T1 tram line from Sultanahmet station and get off at the Eminonu station, just 2 stations after. The mosque is just around 200 meters away from the tram station. But I’m strongly suggesting you take a walk from the Sultanahmet. Taking a walk will take around half an hour and 2 km but the route offers most of the historical legacy of Istanbul to you. While you are walking you can see the Firuz Aga Mosque, Nuruosmaniye Mosque, Historical Cuhaci Han, Grand Bazaar and many more other places.

How to Go to the Rustem Pasha Mosque from Taksim?

If you want to go to the mosque from Taksim you can take the historical metro which name is Tünel from Beyoglu. It is like a funicular system with one-stop. You can get off at the Karakoy, just another side of the Golden Horne. It is possible to take a T1 tram line from Karakoy Station and get off only after one station, at Eminonu. But it is always better to take a walk through the Galata Bridge. While you are walking you can see the many landmarks at the historical peninsula of Istanbul. Also, you can stop over the bridge and watch the people who are fishing. Don’t forget to take pictures!

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How to Go to the Rustem Pasha Mosque from Kadıköy and Uskudar?

You have one great option to go to the Eminonu from Kadıkoy and Uskudar. Just take a ferry from Kadıkoy or Uskudar pier and get off at the Eminonu. This is a classical Istanbul way to go to the Eminonu. While on the ferry don’t forget to eat simit (a Turkish bagel) and dring tea. Feeding the seagulls with your simit is a traditional Turkish habit. After you get off at the Eminonu pier just take a 200 meters long walk to the mosque.

Rustem Pasha Mosque Opening Hours

Rustem Pasha Mosque is not a museum. It is an active religious place open to all people. It will be open in the morning prayer at the sunrise and will close after the night prayer. You can visit it any time during the day but also be aware that the entrance to the mosque will be restricted during the prayer. Generally, prayer will take no more than 20 minutes except only the Friday prayer. Fridays, at the noon there is a prayer and mosque will be crowded. It will take up to an hour. So you can eat a meal or drink coffee to spend some time to visit the mosque. Also, there is no entrance fee to the mosque but if you want to make some donations, it will be accepted by the officials. Probably one or two hours will be enough to visit the mosque and inspect the Iznik tiles in detail.

If you visited Rustem Pasha Mosque or planning to visit it please share your thought, questions, and suggestion at the comment section to help the others.

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