This paper examines functional and compositional relationship between the narthex and the western chapels adjacent to it in middle Byzantine churches. The author examines the architectural features, archaeological evidence, decorative programs and literary sources related to the western end of middle Byzantine churches and establishes
that that the process of integration of the western chapels with the narthex proper,
seen in a number of Palaeologan monuments, actually began in middle Byzantine times.
Western chapels in middle Byzantine churches: Meaning and significance