The Rüstem Paşa Mosque was built by a famous Croatian, Rüstem Pasha (1500-1561), one of the Grand Viziers of the Ottoman Empire and married to the daughter of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, Mihrimah Sultan. In 1561, it was designed by Mimar Sinan ("Sinan the Architect") for Grand Vizier Rüstem Pasha using a style that is very different from the simplicity of Sinan the Architect and that period. Iznik tiles are the decorative elements that zoom out from the simplicity of the mosque.
The historical mosque was located on an uphill road that the Uzun Çarşı connected to the seaside in the Eminonu district. Presently, the location of the mosque is in the middle of a congested area. It was built on the former site of Hacı Halil Mescid with a size of 40 meters by 40 meters square. The ceiling of the mosque contains a central dome, the diameter of which is 15.50 meters and is surrounded by full and half-domes that provide support to the central dome.
Rüstem Paşa Mosque suffered damage in a fire in 1660. After the big earthquake of Istanbul in 1776, both the minaret and the dome of the mosque came to the ground. It was renovated in the reign of the Mustafa II. (1664 –1703), but, during the renovation, the ruined dome and minaret fell short of the reality of the structure of Sinan the Architect.
As is the case of Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, the inscription is lacking over the entry of the Rüstem Paşa Mosque. The octagonal fountain of the mosque is placed in a courtyard located on the street. An archway surrounds the high-walled courtyard of the mosque in three directions.
İznik tiles were commonly used in the interior design of the mosque that was situated on the silhouette of the historical peninsula. They have caused visitors to transform a minor image into a great artwork.
Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL