The Schwerin Palace in Germany, historical ducal residence of Mecklenburg-Schwerin since 1348
Ambavilas Palace, famous as Mysore Palace, the official residence of Maharajas of Mysore since 1400
The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in Spain, is a renacentist complex that has functioned as a royal palace, monastery, basilica, pantheon, library, museum, university and hospital.

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 is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill in Rome which housed the Imperial residences.[1] In many parts of Europe, the term is also applied to ambitious 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, such as a movie palace[1]


Domus Augustana of Palatine Hill in Rome, the origin of the term "palace"

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 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 neighbours 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.

Palace meaning "government" can be recognized in a remark of Paul the Deacon, writing c. AD 790 and describing events of the 660s: "When Grimuald set out for Beneventum, he entrusted his palace to Lupus" (Historia Langobardorum, V.xvii). At the same time, Charlemagne was consciously reviving the Roman expression in his "palace" at Aachen, of which only his chapel remains. In the 9th century, the "palace" indicated the housing of the government too, and the constantly travelling Charlemagne built fourteen. In the early Middle Ages, the palas was usually that part of an imperial palace (or Kaiserpfalz), that housed the Great Hall, where affairs of state were conducted; it continued to be used as the seat of government in some German cities. In the Holy Roman Empire the powerful independent Electors came to be housed in palaces (Paläste). This has been used as evidence that power was widely distributed in the Empire; as in more centralized monarchies, only the monarch's residence would be a palace.

In modern times, the term has been applied by archaeologists and historians to large structures that housed combined ruler, court and bureaucracy in "palace cultures". In informal usage, a "palace" can be extended to a grand residence of any kind.

Other Languages
العربية: قصر
armãneashti: Pâlati
asturianu: Palaciu
Avañe'ẽ: Óga guasu
تۆرکجه: سارای(قصر)
Bân-lâm-gú: Kiong-tiān
беларуская: Палац
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Палац (пабудова)
български: Дворец
brezhoneg: Palez
čeština: Palác
Cymraeg: Palas
dansk: Palads
Deutsch: Palast
eesti: Palee
Ελληνικά: Παλάτι
español: Palacio
Esperanto: Palaco
euskara: Jauregi
فارسی: کاخ
français: Palais
galego: Palacio
хальмг: Өргә
한국어: 궁전
հայերեն: Պալատ
हिन्दी: महल
hrvatski: Palača
Ido: Palaco
Bahasa Indonesia: Istana
íslenska: Höll
italiano: Palazzo
עברית: ארמון
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಅರಮನೆ
ქართული: სასახლე
Kreyòl ayisyen: Palè (gwo kay)
latviešu: Pils
lietuvių: Rūmai
lumbaart: Palazz
magyar: Palota
македонски: Палата
Bahasa Melayu: Istana
Nederlands: Paleis
Nedersaksies: Paleis
日本語: 宮殿
norsk: Palass
Nouormand: Palais
occitan: Palais
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Saroy (qasr)
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਮਹਿਲ
پنجابی: محل
polski: Pałac
português: Palácio
română: Palat
русский: Дворец
Scots: Pailace
Simple English: Palace
slovenščina: Palača
српски / srpski: Палата
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Palata
suomi: Palatsi
svenska: Palats
தமிழ்: அரண்மனை
ไทย: วัง
тоҷикӣ: Кох
Türkçe: Saray
українська: Палац
اردو: محل
Tiếng Việt: Cung điện
Winaray: Palasyo
吴语: 皇宫
žemaitėška: Paluocē
中文: 宮殿