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Coordinates: 38°15′00″N 28°03′32″E / 38.250°N 28.059°E / 38.250; 28.059

Birgi is located in Turkey
Location of Birgi
Coordinates: 38°15′N 28°03′E / 38.250°N 28.050°E / 38.250; 28.050
Country  Turkey
Region Aegean Region
Province İzmir Province
District Ödemiş District
Elevation 326 m (1,070 ft)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Birgi is a small town located in the Ödemiş district of İzmir province in Turkey. Its current name is a distortion of its medieval Greek name, Pyrgion (Greek: Πυργίον, meaning "Little Tower").


In antiquity, the town was known as Dios Hieron (Διός Ἱερόν, "Sanctuary of Zeus").[1] Dios Hieron was an ancient Greek city of Ionia. It belonged to the Delian League as is mentioned in records of tributes to Athens between 454/3 and 416/5 B.C. Moreover, an Athenian decree of 427/6 B.C. indicates that at that time venerated Hieron Colophon.[2][3][4] The city is mentioned by Thucydides after Chios revolted against the Athenians, while Pliny the Elder says Dioshieronitans came to Ephesus to settle their legal issues.[5] The city became part of the Roman Republic and the Roman province of Asia with the annexation of the Kingdom of Pergamon.

It was renamed to Christoupolis (Χριστούπολις) in the 7th century and was known as Pyrgion from the 12th century on.[1] Pyrgion fell to the Turks in 1307, and became the capital of the beylik of Aydin.[1] It was subsequently incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1390. Birgi is well known for its classic Seljuk and Ottoman architecture and has been listed as a World Cultural Heritage by ÇEKÜL (Protection and Promotion of the Environment and Cultural Heritage) since 1994.


The Roman Era city had an ancient Christian Bishopric attested as an episcopal see from at least 451, It was a suffragan of Ephesus, which it remained under until the late 12th century when it became a separate metropolis.[1]

There are four known bishops of this diocese from antquity.

Today Dioshieron survives as titular bishopric in the Roman Catholic Church,[6] so far the see has never been assigned.[7][8]

Notable historic structures[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Nesbitt, John W.; Oikonomides, Nicolas, eds. (1996). Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Fogg Museum of Art, Volume 3: West, Northwest, and Central Asia Minor and the Orient. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. p. 45. ISBN 0-88402-250-1. 
  2. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens Christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus , Paris 1740, Volume I, coll. 723-724.
  3. ^ Pascal Culerrier, Les Évêchés suffragants of Éphèse aux 5th to 13th siècles , in Revue des études byzantines, Vol45, 1987, p.155.
  4. ^ Raymond Janin, v. Dioshiéron, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques , vol. XIV, Paris 1960, coll. 514-515.
  5. ^ Pliny the Elder V, 120.
  6. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series Episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae , Leipzig 1931, p. 444.
  7. ^ Dioshieron at
  8. ^ Dioshieron at