Illustrated Architecture Dictionary
1. A cylindrical or polgonal wall beneath a dome, often pierced with windows
2. One of the cylinders of stone that form a column
The main advantage of using column sections as opposed to a single monolithic column is that it was easier to transport them from the quarry to the temple site. The sections could even be rolled.
The hole in the center is for a wood or metal rod that stabilized the column sections.
Examples from Buffalo architecture:
- Left illustration above: Our Lady of Victory Basilica Definition #1
Examples from Europe: