RUSTEM PASA MOSQUE, ISTANBUL
Designed by Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan for the Grand Vizier Rüstem Pasa, husband of one of the daughters of Suleiman the Magnificent and the Hurrem Sultan Roxelana. Rüstem Pasa died in July 1561; the mosque was built after his death, between 1561 and 1563. The mosque was situated on a high terrace over a complex of vaulted shops, whose rents financially supported the mosque complex. Today the mosque complex hosts a religious school and itself functions as a place of worship.
Rüstem Pasa Mosque is remarkable for the density and profusion of its Iznik tiles, which encrust almost every available surface, both inside the structure and out. The mosque is small, a jewel box of rich color and lattice-like pattern akin to Saint-Chappelle in Paris. It is said that Mimar Sinan's liberal use of Iznik tiles in this mosque is evidence of an as-yet undeveloped system for their application: in his later designs the architect was much more restrained in his these tiles, using them only as accents. Alternatively, it is said that the abundance of tiles seen here is due to Rüstem Pasa hımself: a miser, he was supposed to have hoarded Iznik tiles in his lifetime, for use in this self-memorial after his death.