The Beauty of the World’s Basilicas

Many of us have witnessed the beauty of Basilicas around the world and in India. The word basilica is actually derived from a Greek term meaning “royal house.” Basilica is a title of honour given to certain churches because of their antiquity, dignity, historical importance or significance as centres of worship.

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St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, Italy,
a UNESCO heritage site, is the most important and largest religious structure of Catholicism. It was built on the supposed tomb of the apostle Peter, buried on the same site where he was martyred. It is the tallest building in the city, 119 meters with its dome.

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Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Spain is a minor basilica built in the 1st or 2nd century AD and sits on the banks of the Ebro. It is dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, the patron saint of Spain, who is said to have appeared to St. James in the 40 AD and gave him a small wooden statue and a column of jasper and instructed him to build a church in her honour.

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Basilica of Bom Jesus in Panaji
This is the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Panaji, the capital city of Goa, built in 1594. The magnificent structure reflects a perfect Renaissance culture and the Basilica is integrated with intricately gilded altars with stunningly crafted basalt embellishments. The frescos and the artwork add to its magnificent veritable structure.