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Basilica eng.

A large Roman-Imperial building with a rectangular layout, with the internal space divided up by rows of columns. It was used as a court and trade center, with an apse (even double) that amplified the phonic emission of the voice and with large windows to guarantee sufficient light at assemblies. The roof was made of lightweight wooden trusses, thus eliminating the need for the so-called external or buttress arches, which were necessary for stone roofs, as in medieval Gothic cathedrals.  The church took on this motif for the first buildings of worship that had a rectangular layout, divided up lengthways by columns or pillars into three or five naves, ending up with a semi-circular area called the apse, which was occasionally cut up transversally by a transept, which was useful for the liturgical action and significant for giving the layout of the building the shape of a Latin cross.


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