TERRACE (Fr. terrace, terrasse, from It. terraccia, terrazza, Lat. terra, earth), a raised platform of earth; in geology the term is used of level horizontal ridges on the side of a slope, formed by volcanic action, or more usually by the action of water; they are thus frequent along the shores of lakes or by rivers; on the sea-shore they are generally known as " raised beaches. " The term is used in architecture of an artificial platform in front of a building, which is utilized as a promenade; sometimes, when the building is erected on an elevation, there may be a series of terraces rising one above the other, with flights of steps leading from one to the other, as in the Villa D'Este at Tivoli; or there may be a single terrace raised high above the ground and supported on arches, as the terrace to the Adelphi buildings in the Strand, or the river front at Somerset House, or in France at the castles at Amboise and St Germain-en-laye, or again a low terrace like that in front of the Houses of Parliament at Westminster overlooking the Thames, which is 670 ft. long and 35 ft. wide. The terraces of the gardens at Isola Bella on the Lago Maggiore are known as hanging gardens (Hortus pensilis), and were similar to those which were built by the Assyrian king at Babylon. Though properly applied to a row of buildings on a raised level, the word is often used of any row of houses.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)