Municipal Compartment of Gythion with 146 residents, Karyoupoli consists, according to the census of 2001, of the village of Karyoupoli (39 residents), Vryses (39 residents), Laggada (35 residents) and Prytova (33 residents). In former days, it was the capital of Gythion. It lies on the eastern part of Taygetus and NE of Gythion. This superb and imposing Byzantine village bears memories and deeds of a glorious past. It was the Byzantine center of Mani and the headquarters of the Episcope, the ruins of which are still preserved close to the castle of Karyoupoli, which belonged to the Diocese of Lacedaemon or to the Diocese of Monemvasia.
After the fall of Mystras, follows the decline. Relics of the Byzantine period are the Tower, the church of Ag Nikolaos (13th Cent.), remnants from graves and cisterns and constructions of that time.
The fortress of Kavallierakis and Fokas, as well as the tower of Kosonakos, a masterpiece of 19th Cent, built on the highest spot of the hill, blocked the way to Mani. On the west, there is the temple of Ag. Petros and next to the tower of Kosonakos there is the temple of Virgin Mary.
The contribution of the families Kavallierakis and Kosonakos to the liberation of the State has been multiple.
Kavallierakis Ravoulios; He participated to the siege of Tripoli and Nauplio in 1821 and fell in a battle in Kioski in Nauplio in 20th August 1822.
Kavallierakis Theodoros; He took part in the siege of Monemvasia, Tripoli, Nauplio and Corinth. In the descent of Ibrahim, he bravely fought at the Messinian fortresses. In the battle of Diros, he was deprived with other 5 fighters; he confronted a mass of Egyptians.
Kosonakos-Fokas Jeorgios: he served in the army during the revolution in Crete in 1866, when as the leader of a platoon of volunteers came to Crete and was put under the orders of Dimitrios Petroulakis. He bravely fought taking part in 1867 in the battles in Pediada (Kara Pigadi) and in Malevizio (the gorge of Vathypetro) against Omer Pasha. He left Crete in the end of 1867 by the ship Arkadi, which was sank and so he drowned.
Kosonakos Ilias: He volunteered in the revolution of Crete in 1866 in the volunteers’ troop, which was under the command of his brother and fought on his side.
Kosonakos Konstantinos (1843-1910): He studied law and at a very young age, he devoted himself to politics. In fact, he was elected deputy of Laconia with the party of Harilaos Trikoupis. He served as director of the governmental police in Athens; when he came back to politics in 1865, during the government of Trikoupis, he served as Minister of Education.
The people of Karyoupoli are not above 60 years old and occupy themselves with olives and cattle rising. Only for a few months do they welcome those who come to cherish the peacefulness of the village and the surrounding nature. Then, the houses are alive again and the square is full with familiar faces and children that give life and meaning to the village.
Karyoupoli is more than 12 centuries old; it is really a village of exquisite beauty.
It’s been centuries of history for a place full of memories, immortal like the soul of people.
Karyoupoli should be dealt as a huge place of civilization, which should be respected.
In order for a civilization to stay alive the memory should stay alive, too. Karyoupoli should keep the memory of the past, restructuring its identity with time lasting original characteristics.