The monumental complex of the Basilica of Santa Cristina was built outside the urban area, 350 meters from the southern limit of the ancient Volsinii, near the early Christian necropolis and the tomb of the martyr revered compatriot. It must reach the eighth century to find the first mention of a worship lent to the city of Santa Cristina Bolsena but, as already mentioned, the archaeological and monumental us back to an era anterior well.
In 1115 the Church of Santa Cristina was donated by Count Bernardo to the bishop of Orvieto, becoming since then the heart of the religious and civic life of Bolsena and also greatly influencing the development of the city. During seventeen centuries of history the building has undergone considerable expansion but also upheavals that only partially today allow us to understand its primitive structure.
Discontinued the use of the early Christian necropolis, they developed other open air in the early Middle Ages; in its vicinity were built hospices for pilgrims, cloisters for the community life of the canons, many mills whose blades were being driven by a stream, towers and walls for its defense. Each century left its mark to witness what they had at heart bolsenesi that place so dear.
Currently it is composed of three well-defined and distinct nuclei:
– The Basilica, a building with three naves and a Latin cross plan, of the Middle Ages;
– The New Chapel of the Miracle, built starting in 1693;
– The Cave of Santa Cristina and the catacombs (IV-V century).