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

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").

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
RegionAegean Region
Provinceİzmir Province
DistrictÖdemiş District
326 m (1,070 ft)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)


In antiquity, the town was known as Dios Hieron (Greek: Διός Ἱερόν, 'Sanctuary of Zeus'),[1] one of two cities thus named.[2] 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 (Greek: Χριστούπολις) in the 7th century and was known as Pyrgion (Greek: Πυργίον) from the 12th century on.[1] Pyrgion fell to the Turks in 1307, and became the capital of the beylik of Aydin.[1]

Ibn Battuta visited the city and attended a lecture by the eminent professor Muhyi al-Din.[3]

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 antiquity.

Today Dioshieron survives as titular bishopric in the Roman Catholic Church,[4] so far the see has never been assigned.[5][6]

Notable historic structuresEdit


  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. ^ William Hazlitt (1851). The Classical Gazetteer. p. 136.
  3. ^ Battutah, Ibn (2002). The Travels of Ibn Battutah. London: Picador. pp. 107–108. ISBN 9780330418799.
  4. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series Episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae , Leipzig 1931, p. 444.
  5. ^ Dioshieron at
  6. ^ Dioshieron at