Glossary of Medieval Art and Architecture

narthex: : A low projection at the western end of a church, like a porch. Although narthex is sometimes used synonymously with westwork, a narthex is usually more open and often has only one story in contrast to the more closed westwork with a large open chamber on the upper level. Generally a narthex is narrower than the width of the nave and aisles while the westwork is broader, but it is often difficult to distinguish a westwork from a narthex on plans or photographs.

Compare with: westwerk, screen facade.

Click here for pronounciation.

S. Giorgio in Velbro

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Created by Jane Vadnal 05/97