Narthex


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narthex

(när`thĕks), entrance feature peculiar to early Christian and Byzantine churches, although also found in some Romanesque churches, especially in France and Italy. Usually extending across the entire west front of the building, it was a vestibule for the penitents and catechumens who were not admitted to the church proper. The narthex was either enclosed within the building (often separated from the nave by a mere screen of columns) or consisted of an exterior colonnaded or arcaded portico. In the latter case it was sometimes merely a continuation of the atriumatrium
, term for an interior court in Roman domestic architecture and also for a type of entrance court in early Christian churches. The Roman atrium was an unroofed or partially roofed area with rooms opening from it. In early times its center held a cooking hearth.
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, as in a number of Italian basilical churches, including the original basilica (4th cent.) of St. Peter's Church, Rome. The inner narthex was particularly characteristic of the monastic churches, where admission was restricted. In churches having both types of narthex, as in Hagia SophiaHagia Sophia
[Gr.,=Holy Wisdom] or Santa Sophia,
Turkish Aya Sofia, originally a Christian church at Constantinople (now İstanbul), later a mosque, and now converted into a museum.
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, Constantinople (originally a Christian church), the outer one is termed exonarthex. With the growth of unrestricted entry into the churches, the narthex served no further ritual purpose after the 13th cent. The deeply recessed portals of Gothic cathedrals are derivatives of the narthex.

Narthex

An arcaded porch or entrance hall to an early Christian basilican church.

Narthex

 

a vestibule, an entrance that is often attached to the western side of Christian churches. Some churches have both an outer narthex (exonarthex) and an inner narthex (esonarthex). The narthex was designed for persons who did not have the right to enter the main room reserved for the worshipers.


Narthex

 

a structure built onto the west (or, frequently, the north or south) side of a church. The narthex was used widely in the architecture of Smolensk, Polotsk, and Pskov and in the wooden architecture of the Russian North. A single church commonly had two or three narthexes.

narthex

An enclosed porch or vestibule at the entrance to some early Christian churches.
References in periodicals archive ?
After the March 4, 1977 earthquake, a corner of the narthex and the Northern side of the veranda crumbled and the entire structure of the church cracked.
There is room for 126 to sit but the slatted screens to the narthex and porch at the back can be opened to accommodate more standing.
The two-light window in the central narthex depicts Mary Immaculate and St Athanasius with below the ark of the covenant and the monogram Chi Rho.
I'm sitting alone in the darkened "cry room" in the back, with only a little light coming through the open door to the narthex.
Narthex, St John's church, Sparkhill, received pounds 2,000 towards medical supplies for its work supporting low-income families and other disadvantaged groups.
In examining the narthex proskynetaria in particular, Kalopissi-Verti makes a major contribution to our understanding of screening and thresholds in the Byzantine church, as she is one of the first authors to consider this material in the narthex, and to connect such programs to parallel images flanking the templon.
A tiny man with a big voice, the Archbishop had set words dancing round the room like flashes of light from a prism - exotic, bewildering words - buttress, cupola, nave, narthex, triumph.
In medieval frescoes, the Protevangelium was greatly drawn-on for scenes of the Virgin's life, generally depicted in a frieze round the upper walls of the narthex.
Sophia Kalopissi-Verti addresses the imagery and meaning of the icons called proskynetaria found in middle and late Byzantine churches--paired images of special devotional importance, usually painted on the nave sides of the piers flanking the sanctuary, and sometimes duplicated in the narthex.
Kennedy will lie in repose in the Grand Narthex -- The casket will arrive 11:15 AM and depart 9:15 PM; media positioning will be available for both arrival and departure, with Grand Narthex access from 4-5 PM.
The interior Narthex of the Church of Hagia Sophia exemplifies this unique model (Symphonia) that views the Church and the state as two interdependent institutions, two gifts of God, each with their respective domains of concern (Harakas, 1993).
These Dionysian love festivals were underscored by an open bar and delicious food, while the so-called Johnny Cash Gallery, acting as narthex to the main room, was used as a showroom for selected artists.