- an enclosed passage between the main entrance and the nave of a church.
Origin of narthex
Examples from the Web for narthex
The narthex is divided into three bays, separated by heavy arches.Byzantine Churches in Constantinople
Alexander Van Millingen
The southern cella, with its narthex, has been entirely destroyed.The Cradle of Mankind
It is a basilica with two aisles and apse, narthex and atrium.
The door of the narthex is inserted between the two columns.
It is a triple church, separated by columns and all entered from the narthex.
- a portico at the west end of a basilica or church, esp one that is at right angles to the nave
- a rectangular entrance hall between the porch and nave of a church
Word Origin and History for narthex
"porch at the west end of early churches" (used by penitents not admitted to the body of the church), 1670s, from Late Greek narthex, in classical Greek "giant fennel," of unknown origin. The architectural feature allegedly so called from fancied resemblance of porch to a hollow stem. The word also was used in Greek to mean "a small case for unguents, etc." According to Hesiod ("Theogeny"), Prometheus conveyed fire from Heaven to Earth in hollow fennel stalks. Related: Narthecal.