Monday, October 20, 2014

Rüstem Paşa Cami.

Looking up at the archway above the entry door.

With Süleymaniye Cami closed for lunchtime prayer, we headed to Rüstem Paşa Cami instead. It was back to the chaos of the streets.  So many people out and about shopping, eating....going about their daily business.

Somehow, we had ended up in the backstreets.  As best we could, we were both making mental notes of our surroundings as we would have to retrace our steps to get back to Süleymaniye Cami.



Along the way, we crossed paths with a fruit vendor selling pieces of melon.  It looked good.  It didn't take much to convince Bro to buy some.


We're on a street somewhere in the Fatih neighborhood.  No chance of finding a bench to sit on but we found a concrete stoop that served as one.  We dove into the sweet fruit.  This would tie us over until lunch.


Fruit break over, we continued on our walk to Rüstem Paşa.  Between Bro doing his best to follow the map and us just following our instincts, we managed to get back to the busy streets around Yeni Cami.

My nose led us to a kebap place.  It smelled too good to pass up so we ordered a chicken kepbab, with everything piled on top, to go.   Sorry, no photo.  The moment the guy handed me the kebap, I tore it half and shared with Bro and then took a bite of my piece.  To busy drooling to take a photo; the thing was lip smacking good.


We  managed to meander our way down to Rüstem Paşa.  The entrance was practically hidden if not for a small plaque hanging just to the right.

There was no courtyard to enter in to.  The walkway just led from the entrance to the front door.  I had thought the exterior of Yeni Cami was the most gorgeous of the mosques I had been to but the outside of Rüstem Paşa Cami is even more stunning! The delicate patterns on the Iznik tiles, the decorations on the domes.....so beautiful.



With our shoes off and my headscarf on, we stepped inside.  I gasped in awe.  This place is truly magnificent!  I am sad to say this but Yeni Cami can't compare.

It was quiet inside Rüstem Paşa.  Just a few tourists.  It was my first time here so I walked about to take photos.  I couldn't get over how stunning the interior is.  Like Yeni Cami, it's a relatively small space - there's a sense of intimacy to it.  At the same time, there's a delicate beauty to this place - the patterns on the Iznik tile and painting on the ceiling domes are so refined.


This is one of Mimar Sinan's finest buildings and what sets it apart from many another mosque is the use of the red paint; it adds a really nice pop of color against the brilliant blue and stark white.


As with the other mosques, a massive chandelier graces the center of the prayer room.  Bro voiced frustration at why the lights had to be placed so low - it was such an obstruction against the view of the beautiful room.  Despite his complaint, he still managed to artfully incorporate the light into his photo.  I had to crop the photo to remove a tourist from the left side but still, it's a lovely photo for someone who really doesn't like to take photos :-)


The massive dome is decorated with red, blue and gold paint.  So, so, so beautiful. 


The color red also shows up in the Iznik tile.  The pattern used here is much more delicate than what you see inside Yeni Cami.



Even the door is a work of art.  Just look at the carved knob and the inlaid edge of the door itself.




The tulip.  Native to Turkey.  Popular in Iznik tiles. 


Every nook, every cranny.  Tranquil beauty.  I disabled the shutter sound on my camera so as to not disturb people praying.  That should be de facto etiquette for anyone taking photos inside a mosque....presuming you have a feature on your camera or smartphone to disable the sound.



Although we didn't stay long inside Rüstem Paşa Cami, every minute was worth the visit!  I will forever have a soft spot for Yeni Cami but beauty wise, Rüstem Paşa takes the cake!

By now, it was well past lunch hour and we were ready for a break.  We'd been munching all morning long so we weren't looking for a big meal.  Just something to lightly fill the belly.  Back to the chaotic streets.


Ever so lucky, we walked barely half a block when our noses detected lunch.  We stumbled on a rotisserie chicken place.  Sounds so ordinary but after the rotisserie chicken we had had in Selçuk,we know Turks can do a chicken good!

This place only serves rotisserie drumsticks and wings.  There were two low tables and a few chairs outside.  We found ourselves seated next to some British tourists who gleefully told us that they had been to this place repeated times; it was their favorite place to eat.  Sounded promising for us.  I figured given the number of chicken parts rotating over the cooker, this place must be good as the guy would cook up that much chicken if he didn't sell out that much chicken.


I am a wing girl!  For 9TL, we got 6 luscious wings, a slice of pita bread and a salad.  Bro and I shared an order.  Man, oh man, those wings were delicious!  Sticky on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.  We both agreed this was a great deal and if we're ever back in the 'hood, we're definitely coming here.  The Brits were right!


After our break,  it was back to.....the one place I've been trying to get to all morning!