Although the exact date of its foundation is not known, its existence is documented since the 9th century. In later centuries it was expanded to include the church. In the 16th century, when it was incorporated into the Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil Monastery as a mere priory, a new cloister and a church tower top were built. It was abandoned following the 1835 Disentailment Act. When the monastic activities ceased, both Santa Cristina and Santo Estevo were devoted to private dwelling use, and even as stables or to store hay.
This ensemble, surrounded by a beautiful oak forest on the banks of the Sil, comprises a monastery and a church. The original monastery building, laid out around a small cloister, was of Romanesque style, in keeping with the aesthetic lines of the Benedictine order. Today, only two wings still remain. One of the points of interest here is the entrance, which is similar to the south part of the Ourense Cathedral. As testimony of its monastic past, we can see the "armarium claustri", small spaces where the books the friars read on their walks were stored. It is an austere construction, sparsely decorated but of singular beauty due to its harmony with the woods and the orography of its surroundings.
Construction of the church, of Romanesque style, began in the 12th century and during the 13th century Gothic elements, mainly arches, were introduced. It has a Latin Cross design, divided into five sections. Its structure displays the elegance and verticality typical of the buildings of the Cistercian Order. The façade is outstanding due to its entrance with three arches, supported by pairs of columns with decorated capitals. The upper part has a large Romanesque rose window. Its high tower, a privileged viewpoint over the River Sil, is topped by a pyramid shape, which is quite unusual.
Inside there are fresco paintings, a main altar decorated with geometric motifs, Baroque altarpieces and, most importantly, an image of Saint Peter created by the artist Juan de Angés in the late 16th century. On the walls of the vestry there are painted coats of arms of the Orders of Calatrava and San Esteban.