from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. , (Christianity) The space anterior to the narthex of a church, sometimes roofed-over as with a porch, but more often an enclosed courtyard; in antiquity, the courtyard where catechumens were permitted to be close to the Eucharist, but forbidden to see it celebrated.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In a Greek church, the outer narthex or vestibule, in case there were two, as in the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople, the inner narthex being called the esonarthex.
Parallel to the esonarthex is the exonarthex, with pictures from the life of Christ, concentrating on his infancy.
Its walls are covered with a light ocher-colored plaster instead of marble, but it is still imposing with its lofty dome and King Milutin's exonarthex and three-story bell tower.
In some of the larger churches there are two Nartheces -- the esonarthex and the exonarthex, the latter serving the purpose of an extended porch.
The catholicon (main church) was built in the 14th century and belongs to the single-aisled domed type with lite, narthex, exonarthex and an oblong roofed portico on the south side
a wide atrium with colonnaded passages and two vestibules (the exonarthex is practically obliterated).