The city of Brenthe was on the site of what is now Karýtaina and was abandoned in the time of Pausanias. In the early Middle Ages, the city became a refuge for the residents of Gortys, whose name (in highly corrupted form) still lives on in the current Karýtaina. The Frankish crusaders made Karýtaina the capital of the barony “the Caritaine” and in 1254, under the leadership of Hugo de Bruyères, built the castle that still lies (strongly decayed) on top of the hill. A few recycled antique stones from Brenthe are still visible in the castle (photos on the right).
In 1320 the castle was bought by the Byzantine rulers in Mystrás (Andronikos II Palaiologos) from his Frankish lord, after which it remained in Greek hands until 1428, after which it came into the hands of, among others, the Venetians and the Turks. It is from this castle that Kolokotronis (who had it partly restored) faced the Turkish General Ibrahim Pasha with his force from Egypt during the war of independence. In honor of this, halfway up the path is a monument for this freedom fighter. Inside the triangular castle there is (ruinously) a hall with large windows and (originally) an arched roof. The view from the castle is impressive.
The Frankish-Byzantine bridge over the Alpheios (now replaced by a modern concrete bridge) is famous. In addition to the castle and this bridge, the church for the Virgin Mary (Panaghía) deserves attention with a Franconian bell tower, just like that of St. Nikólaos. The tiny town itself is exceptionally picturesque and has been strongly restored.