Plan of a large Latin cross church, with the nave (strict definition) highlighted
Plan with the nave (broader definition) highlighted
The nave of the Saint-Sulpice Church in Paris
The Romanesque nave of the abbey church of Saint-Georges-de-Boscherville, Normandy, France, has a triforium passage above the aisle vaulting.
First African Baptist Church (1865) - View of Nave looking West.

The nave v/ is the central part of a church, stretching from the (normally western) main entrance or rear wall, to the transepts, or in a church without transepts, to the chancel.[1][2] When a church contains side aisles, as in a basilica-type building, the strict definition of the term 'nave' is restricted to the central aisle.[1] In a broader, more colloquial sense, the nave includes all areas available for the lay worshippers, including the side-aisles and transepts.[3] Either way, the nave is distinct from the area reserved for the choir and clergy.[1]


The nave extends from the entry—which may have a separate vestibule (the narthex)—to the chancel and may be flanked by lower side-aisles[4] separated from the nave by an arcade. If the aisles are high and of a width comparable to the central nave, the structure is sometimes said to have three naves. It provides the central approach to the high altar.

Other Languages
العربية: صحن (كنيسة)
беларуская: Неф
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Нэф
български: Неф
brezhoneg: Nev
Deutsch: Kirchenschiff
eesti: Lööv
Esperanto: Navo
euskara: Habearte
français: Nef
Gaeilge: Corp eaglaise
한국어: 신랑
italiano: Navata
lietuvių: Nava
Limburgs: Sjeep (boew)
magyar: Főhajó
Nederlands: Schip (bouwkunst)
日本語: 身廊
norsk: Midtskip
norsk nynorsk: Kyrkjeskip
polski: Nawa
português: Nave (arquitetura)
русиньскый: Нава
русский: Неф
shqip: Nefi
Simple English: Nave
slovenščina: Cerkvena ladja
српски / srpski: Брод (архитектура)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Brod (arhitektura)
Türkçe: Nef
українська: Нава (архітектура)
West-Vlams: Middnbeuke
中文: 中殿