Enclosed body of a temple (as distinct from the portico), in which the image of the deity was housed. In early Greek and Roman architecture it was usually rectangular, with an entrance at one end; the side walls were often extended to form a porch. In larger temples the cella was sometimes open to the sky. In the Byzantine architectural tradition, the naos is the area of a central-plan church where the liturgy is performed.
Learn more about cella with a free trial on Britannica.com.