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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]

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.


It is attested as an episcopal see since 451, as a suffragan of Ephesus, which it remained until the late 12th century when it became a separate metropolis.[1]

There are four known bishops of this diocese.

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 Catholic
  8. ^ Dioshieron at