Balcony (from Italian "balcone", scaffold; cf. High German "balcho", beam, balk; probably cognate with Persian term "بالكانه" "bālkāneh" or its older variant "پالكانه" "pālkāneh" [ Dehkhoda Persian Dictionary] ), a kind of platform projecting from the wall of a building, supported by columns or console brackets, and enclosed with a balustrade. The traditional Maltese balcony is a wooden closed balcony projecting from a wall.

Alternatively, Juliet (named after Shakespeare's Juliet who famously courted Romeo from her balcony) balconies do not protrude out of the building. They are usually part of an upper floor, with a balustrade only at the front, and walls on the sides. Romeo and Juliet was not based on actual people and various types of balcony have be used in depicting the scene; in particular the very popular balcony of Juliet at Villa Capuleti in Verona is not in fact a 'Juliet balcony'.

Sometimes balconies are adapted for ceremonial purposes, e.g. that of St. Peter's Basilica at Rome, when the newly elected pope gives his blessing "urbi et orbi" after the conclave. Inside churches, balconies are sometimes provided for the singers, and in banqueting halls and the like for the musicians.

A unit with a regular balcony will have doors that open up onto a small patio with railings. To the contrary, a French balcony is actually a false balcony, with doors that open to a railing with a view of the courtyard or the surrounding scenery below.

In theatres, the "balcony" was formerly a stage-box, but the name is now usually confined to the part of the auditorium above the dress circle and below the gallery.

Famous uses of balconies

Balconies have been used extensively in many television, movie, and stage performances. One of the most famous of all is, by far, the famous "balcony scene" in William Shakespeare's famous tragedy, "Romeo and Juliet".

ee also

*Minstrel's gallery


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  • Balcony — Bal co*ny (b[a^]l k[ o]*n[y^]; 277), n.; pl. {Balconies} (b[a^]l k[ o]*n[i^]z). [It. balcone; cf. It. balco, palco, scaffold, fr. OHG. balcho, palcho, beam, G. balken. See {Balk} beam.] 1. (Arch.) A platform projecting from the wall of a building …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • balcony — 1610s, from It. balcone, from balco scaffold (from Langobardic *balko beam, Cf. O.E. balca beam, ridge; see BALK (Cf. balk)) + Italian augmentative suffix one. Till c.1825, regularly accented on the second syllable …   Etymology dictionary

  • balcony — [n] porch or structure above the ground balustrade, box*, catwalk, gallery, mezzanine, piazza, platform, porch, portico, stoop, terrace, veranda; concept 440 …   New thesaurus

  • balcony — ► NOUN (pl. balconies) 1) an enclosed platform on the outside of a building, with access from an upper floor window or door. 2) the highest tier of seats in a theatre or cinema. DERIVATIVES balconied adjective. ORIGIN Italian balcone …   English terms dictionary

  • balcony — [bal′kə nē] n. pl. balconies [It balcone < Langobardic * balko , akin to OHG balcho, beam: for IE base see BALK] 1. a platform projecting from the wall of an upper floor of a building and enclosed by a railing 2. an upper floor of rows of… …   English World dictionary

  • balcony — balconied, adj. /bal keuh nee/, n., pl. balconies. 1. a balustraded or railed elevated platform projecting from the wall of a building. 2. a gallery in a theater. [1610 20; < It balcone balcony, floor length window < Langobardic (cf. OHG balc(h)o …   Universalium

  • balcony — [[t]bæ̱lkəni[/t]] balconies 1) N COUNT A balcony is a platform on the outside of a building, above ground level, with a wall or railing around it. 2) N SING The balcony in a theatre or cinema is an area of seats above the main seating area. Syn:… …   English dictionary

  • balcony — noun 1) the balcony of the hotel Syn: veranda, terrace, balustrade, patio 2) the applause from the balcony Syn: gallery, dress circle, loge, upper tier, upper deck; choir loft; informal gods …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • balcony */ — UK [ˈbælkənɪ] / US noun [countable] Word forms balcony : singular balcony plural balconies 1) a place where you can stand just outside an upper window. It sticks out from the wall of a building. 2) theatre an upper floor in a theatre or cinema… …   English dictionary

  • balcony — noun Balcony is used before these nouns: ↑rail, ↑window …   Collocations dictionary

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