advertisement

It is said that this Grand Vizier was a true Ali Baba, if you will. His nickname was Kehle-i-Ikbal, or the Louse of Fortune. How appropriate then that his namesake would be located amid one of the city's most commercial districts. The mosque and complex were built by Sinan in 1561. Primarily serving a blue-collar community of hardware merchants, the mosque is the most decorated one in the city, tiled top to bottom with dazzling Iznik tiles dancing with tulips, hyacinths, and spring flowers. It was commissioned by Süleyman's Prime Minister and son-in-law, Rüstem Pasa. The second-story prayer hall sits atop a street-level space designed to accommodate the commercial district below, and the prayer hall is accessed via a narrow quartet of staircases. Built on an octagonal plan, the Rüstem Pasa Camii is believed to be the precursor for Sinan's design of the Selimiye in Edirne.