Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, a major basilica of the Roman Catholic Church, is a central-plan building, enlarged by a basilical nave

A basilica is a type of building, usually a Christian church, that is typically rectangular with a central nave and aisles, usually with a slightly raised platform and an apse at one or both ends. In Europe and the Americas it is the most common architectural style for churches though this building plan has become less dominant in new buildings since the later 20th century. Today the term basilica is often used to refer to any large, ornate church building, especially Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, even if it does not strictly follow this style.

The basilican architectural style originated in ancient Rome and was originally used for public buildings where courts were held, as well as serving other official and public functions. The basilica was centrally located in every Roman town, usually adjacent to the main forum. As the Roman Empire adopted Christianity, the major church buildings were typically constructed with this style and thus it became popular throughout Europe.

Many older Roman Catholic basilicas are Catholic pilgrimage sites, receiving tens of millions of visitors per year. [1] [2] In December 2009 the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City set a new record with 6.1 million pilgrims during Friday and Saturday for the anniversary of Our Lady of Guadalupe. [3]

Terminology

St. John in the Lateran is both an architectural and an ecclesiastical basilica

The Latin word basilica derives from the Greek βασιλικὴ στοά (basilikè stoá), lit. "royal stoa (walkway)", originally referring to the tribunal chamber of a king. In Rome the word was at first used to describe an ancient Roman public building where courts were held, as well as serving other official and public functions. To a large extent these were the town halls of ancient Roman life. The basilica was centrally located in every Roman town, usually adjacent to the main forum. These buildings, an example of which is the Basilica Ulpia, were rectangular, and often had a central nave and aisles, usually with a slightly raised platform and an apse at each of the two ends, adorned with a statue perhaps of the emperor, while the entrances were from the long sides. [4] [5]

By extension the name was applied to Christian churches which adopted the same basic plan and it continues to be used as an architectural term to describe such buildings, which form the majority of church buildings in Western Christianity, though the basilican building plan became less dominant in new buildings from the later 20th century. Later, the term came to refer specifically to a large and important Roman Catholic church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope.

Other Languages
العربية: بازيليكا
azərbaycanca: Bazilika
беларуская: Базіліка
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Базыліка
български: Базилика
bosanski: Bazilika
català: Basílica
čeština: Bazilika
dansk: Basilika
eesti: Basiilika
español: Basílica
Esperanto: Baziliko
euskara: Basilika
فارسی: بازیلیکا
Gaeilge: Baisleac
Gàidhlig: Bàislig
galego: Basílica
한국어: 바실리카
Հայերեն: Բազիլիկ
hrvatski: Bazilika
Bahasa Indonesia: Basilika
italiano: Basilica
עברית: בזיליקה
ქართული: ბაზილიკა
қазақша: Базилика
Kiswahili: Basilika
Кыргызча: Базилика
Latina: Basilica
latviešu: Bazilika
lietuvių: Bazilika
magyar: Bazilika
македонски: Базилика
Nederlands: Basiliek
日本語: バシリカ
norsk: Basilika
norsk nynorsk: Basilika
Nouormand: Basouque
occitan: Basilica
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Bazilika
Piemontèis: Basìlica
polski: Bazylika
português: Basílica
română: Bazilică
русский: Базилика
shqip: Bazilika
Simple English: Basilica
slovenčina: Bazilika
slovenščina: Bazilika (zgradba)
српски / srpski: Базилика
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Bazilika
Türkçe: Bazilika
українська: Базиліка
vèneto: Baxełega
West-Vlams: Basilicoale kerke
中文: 巴西利卡