1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Balcony

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BALCONY (Ital. balcōne from balco, scaffold; cf. O. H. Ger. balcho, beam, Mod. Ger. Balken, Eng. balk), a kind of platform projecting from the wall of a building, supported by columns or console brackets, and enclosed with a balustrade. Sometimes balconies are adapted for ceremonial purposes, e.g. that of St Peter's at Rome, whence the newly elected pope gives his blessing urbi et orbi. Inside churches balconies are sometimes provided for the singers, and in banqueting halls and the like for the musicians. 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.