Palace

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A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop.[1] The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome.[1] In many parts of Europe, the term is also applied to relatively large urban buildings built as the private mansions of the aristocracy. Many historic palaces are now put to other uses such as parliaments, museums, hotels or office buildings. The word is also sometimes used to describe a lavishly ornate building used for public entertainment or exhibitions.[1]

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Etymology

The word palace comes from Old French palais (imperial residence), from Latin Palātium, the name of one of the seven hills of Rome.[1] The original palaces on the Palatine Hill were the seat of the imperial power, while the capitol on the Capitoline Hill was the seat of the senate and the religious nucleus of Rome. Long after the city grew to the seven hills the Palatine remained a desirable residential area. Emperor Caesar Augustus lived there in a purposely modest house only set apart from his neighbors by the two laurel trees planted to flank the front door as a sign of triumph granted by the Senate. His descendants, especially Nero, with his "Golden House" enlarged the house and grounds over and over until it took up the hill top. The word Palātium came to mean the residence of the emperor rather than the neighbourhood on top of the hill. Since modern times, the term has been applied to any place that is considered "palatial", including those which predated Palātium or were built by Asian cultures.

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