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05/02/2008

Castle of karitena

University of Peloponnisos


The Castle of Karitena at Night
(Photo: Prefectural Administration of Arcadia)
Panoramic View of the Castle
Closer View of the Castle
Other View of the Castle

The castle of Karitena was built by the Franks in the 13th century at an inaccessible point, on a rock. Today, it is above the village of Karitena. Due to its strategic position it was particularly desirable by everyone who passed through the region in the following years. Built in the 13th century by Franc de Vrigier, it passed to Byzantine control (Paleologos dynasty) in the 14th century, it was occupied by the Ottomans in the 15th century, governed by the Venetians in the 17th century and conquered by the Ottomans in the 18th century. Greeks gained control of the castle after the revolution of 1821. Theodoros Kolokotronis had realised the excellent strategic position of the castle, he fortified it, built his house and a church inside and made it his base. Today, access to the castle is relatively easy, provided that the visitor follows the path starting from the village. The outer walls of the castle are maintained in good condition, but inside there are ruined buildings. The beautiful church of Virgin Mary is preserved till now, built by Kolokotronis and the view from there is excellent. Some scholars believe that ancient Vrenthi was situated where Karitena now lies, in particular at the place of the castle which was probably the citadel of the ancient city. However, the evidence is not conclusive, since others place the ancient city at Paleokastro village.

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