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.
The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, the hill which housed the Imperial residences in Rome. 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.