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In Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture, the nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church. "Nave" (Medieval Latin navis, "ship") was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting. The nave of a church, whether Romanesque, Gothic or Classical, extends from the entry — which may have a separate vestibule, the narthex — to the chancel and is flanked by lower aisles separated from the nave by an arcade. If the aisles are high and of a width comparable to the central nave, the structure is sometimes said to have three naves.
- Longest nave in Denmark: Aarhus Cathedral, 93 metres (305 ft).
- Longest nave in England: Westminster Abbey, Westminster , 120 feet (37 m).
- Longest nave in Ireland: St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, 91 metres (299 ft) (externally).
- Longest nave in France: Bourges Cathedral, 91 metres (299 ft), including choir where a crossing would be if there were transepts.
- Longest nave in Germany: Cologne cathedral, 58 metres (190 ft), including two bays between the towers.
- Longest nave in Italy: St Peter's Basilica in Rome, 91 metres (299 ft), in four bays.
- Longest nave in Spain: Seville, 60 metres (200 ft), in five bays.
- Longest nave in the United States: Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York City, United States (Episcopal), 70 metres (230 ft).
- Highest vaulted nave: Beauvais Cathedral, France, 48 metres (157 ft) high but only one bay of the nave was actually built but choir and transepts were completed to the same height.
- Highest completed nave: Rome, St. Peter's, Italy, 46 metres (151 ft) high.
- Highest completed vaulted nave: Cathedral of Milan, Italy, 45 metres (148 ft) high.
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