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A balcony comprising a balustrade supported at either end by plinths. The balcony is supported on console brackets.
A balcony comprising a balustrade supported at either end by plinths. The balcony is supported on console brackets.

Balcony (from , scaffold; cf. Old High German balcho, beam, balk; probably cognate with Persian term b lk neh or its older variant p lk neh[1]), a 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' 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. Modern Juliet balconies often involve a metal barrier placed in front of a high window which can be opened.

Juliet balconies are named after Shakespeare's Juliet, who, in traditional stagings of the play Romeo and Juliet, is courted by Romeo while she is on her balcony -- though in fact the play itself, as written, makes no mention of a balcony, but only of a window at which Juliet appears. 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 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. 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.

Notable balconies

One of the most famous uses of a balcony is in traditional stagings of the scene that has come to be known as the "balcony scene" in William Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet (though in fact the scene makes no mention of a balcony, but only of a window at which Juliet appears). Image:Manet.balcony.jpg| douard Manet: Le balcon Image:Romeo and juliet brown.jpg|Ford Madox Brown, the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet Image:J lia balkonja, Verona.jpg|The balcony of Juliet at Villa Capuleti in Verona.

Balcony names

Manufacturers names for their balcony designs often 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.


Image:Balcony granada.JPG|Balcony in Granada, Spain Image:Conjunt de Tres Edificis - 004.jpg|Catalan ironwork balcony Image:Balcony_in_Rome.jpg|Colourful balcony in Rome Image:Lisbon (Lisboa) Luca Galuzzi 2006.jpg|Balconies with cast iron balustrades in Lisbon Image:Balconies.JPG|Ironwork balconies in Krakow, Poland Image:Balcony.JPG|A balcony in Perth, Western Australia Image:Casa de Osambela.JPG|Casa de Osambela, Lima File:Oscar Bluhm Auf dem Balkon.jpg|Auf dem Balkon (on the balcony), by Oscar Bluhm

See also

  • Deck
  • Jharokha
  • Loggia
  • Mezzanine
  • Minstrel's gallery
  • Patio
  • Porch
  • Verandah


  1. Dehkhoda Persian Dictionary

Source: Wikipedia | The above article is available under the GNU FDL. | Edit this article

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