Balcony (from Italian: balcone, scaffold; cf. Old High German balcho, beam, balk; probably cognate with Persian term بالكانه bālkāneh or its older variant پالكانه pālkāneh), 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.
By contrast, a 'Juliet balcony' (named after Shakespeare's Juliet, who courted Romeo from her balcony in the play Romeo and Juliet) does not protrude out of the building. It is usually part of an upper floor, with a balustrade only at the front, like a small Loggia. Various types of balcony have been used in depicting this famous scene; however the 'balcony of Juliet' at Villa Capuleti in Verona is not in fact a 'Juliet balcony', as it it does indeed protrude from the wall of the villa (see photograph below)
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, a small Patio garden or Skyrise greenery. 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.
Nowadays it is very common to see beautiful balconies installed on facades, especially in beach and mountain areas. New improvements have been made to the design, making it more affordable and easier to install a Juliet balcony. One can search online and find companies that sell ready made balconies that just attach to the building structure.
Hotels, condominiums and apartment complexes make good use of the convenience and the added value of a Juliet balcony. The modern terminology has changed slightly with reference to balconies. A true balcony includes a platform, where people can stand on; a false or fake balcony has no platform and acts just as a railing on a french door. In this case the doors need to open to the inside.
Manufacturers have given interesting names to their balcony designs. They refer to the origin of the design, i.e. Italian balcony, Spanish balcony, Mexican balcony, Ecuadorian balcony, etc. They also refer to the shape and form of the pickets used for the balcony railings, i.e. knuckle balcony, goose balcony, pot belly balcony, etc.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Balcony.|
|Look up balcony in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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