Present in early Christian and Byzantine basilicas, the narthex is a transverse room located in contact with the façade and reserved for catechumens and penitents. The term narthex, in fact, comes from the Greek νάρθηξ (nárthēx), meaning stick or scourge. It is located precisely between the church façade and the nave and is as wide as the building itself. It can be external, i.e. porticoed, or an internal vestibule.