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A national church is a church which has a special connection to a specific nation. This is an ancient tradition, which started with pilgrims from all over Europe gathering in certain churches, or building churches of their own.
The churches often became centres not only of worship, but also of aid to poor pilgrims through cheap hostels and free or inexpensive food. Today, they are also places where foreigners in Rome go to hear Mass in their own language, cultural centres and meeting-places for travellers who want to meet someone from home.
In addition to present-day nations, there are also Italian national churches. Until the 19th century, Italy consisted of many city-states and regions, and each region built a national church in Rome.
Some nations do not have their own church, but rather a chapel within a church.