The Basilica of the Holy Blood was constructed in the 12th century and was promoted to the rank of Basilica in 1923. Since 1149, it houses a fragment of cloth stained with the blood of Christ, wiped from his body by Joseph of Arimathea after the crucifixion.
The building consists of a lower and a upper chapel. The lower chapel is dedicated to St. Basil the Great and dates from the first half of the 12th century. This Romanesque chapel houses a relic of the Greek theologian brought back from Caesarea during the Crusades.
The upper chapel was originally built in Romanesque style but was changed in Gothic style in the 15th century and the 19th century. It houses the actual relic with the blood of Christ which has been encased in a glass cylinder. Normally the relic is kept in the altar, but it is brought out regularly for visitors to kiss or touch it.
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