The castle of Karitaina from the N.
History/Description: Probably built in 1254 by Hugues de Bruyere (Hetherington: Hellenic Ministry of Culture site suggests 1245), Karitaina was one of the largest of the baronies making up the Frankish Principality of Achaia. The castle was taken by the Byzantine commander Andronikos Palaiologos Asan in 1310 (and/or purchased from the Franks by by Andronicos Palaeologos in 1320 ). It remained in Greek hands until 1458, with the Ottomans in possession from 1460 - 1685 and again from 1715 to 1821. The Venetians held it from 1685 to 1715. Theodore Kolokotronis used it from 1826 in the struggle against Ibrahim Pasha. There's a very famous old Frankish bridge nearby, with a chapel built into one of the piers.
For historical novel fans, there's a good book about this castle: Lord Geoffrey's Fancy by Alfred Duggan. Dated in style, but if you can cope with that, you'll enjoy Duggan's description of western chivalry when the Principality of Achaea was at its height - all standards rippling under the hot sun as the heroes take on wily Byzantines and fierce nomadic horse archers etc., not to mention Lord Geoff's scandalous elopement, which rocked contemporary society. The castle is just as Duggan described it, surely he must have visited it?
Directions: The modern village clusters about the castle, which is a few minutes walk.
Sources: , [10 'Karytaina, castle']. The latter lists some other interesting buildings in the area.
The view from the battlements, looking N.E.
Karitaina from the Alfos valley
Looking back from the bus to Andritsena.
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Unless otherwise stated, the text, images and design of this site are (c) the author. This page last updated 7 Jan 2007