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A basilica is a Christian structure designed for worship. The word comes from the Latin basilica "building of a court of justice," from Greek (stoa) basilike "royal (portal)," in Athens the portico of the archon basileus, the (high) official who dispensed justice in Athens; from the feminine adjective of basileus "king". A basilica consists of a lengthy, rectangular shape having an apse at one end. It is divided by a row of columns and surrounded by an aisle. Windows in the upper part of the central nave provide lighting. The altar is within or before the apse that arches from the nave. Its width is never greater than one-half its length.

In Roman Catholicism, basilicas are large and important churches designated by the Pope.

The shape of the basilica resulted from the ancient conversion of pagan structures into Christian use.

Basilica OLOG.jpg

Basilica de Guadalupe.