Hamlet (place)

A hamlet is a residential development that consists of a few buildings. A hamlet is smaller than a village, but larger than a single settlement.


" Hamlet " is the name of an existing settlement of a few buildings. The word is Wiler available in Middle High German in the mold and is the Germanized form of the medieval Latin word villare (' homestead '), the Latin Villaris ( " belonging to the estate, the estate " ) to the adjective back. This in turn is derived from the noun villa ( "Villa of making, estate, the estate" ). The term " hamlet " for small settlements goes back to the fact that the closest the noble country houses built unit were calculated for the staff also to the villa and the word ultimately named the entire building complex.

The spread to the south and west of the German language area forms - weiler and wil as the basic words of place names already exist in Old High German as wīlāri and wīlar and also go in Latin Villaris or villa back. The result is this notation by the fact that estates ( villae ), the former Roman soldiers were awarded, were still referred to by the later Germanic owners with the Latin word and the word so already in the post-Roman or Old High German period (ca. 750-1050 ) " Germanized " was.

Cognate terms

  • In the Baden region is the word "teeth " for a small group of farms. A typical tines, for example, the Baden-Baden area Gaisbach.
  • The corresponding Westphalian word is Drubbel. Drubbel lie mainly in areas with scattered settlements, which shall include farming communities.
  • In the Bergisch Land a hamlet called " Hofschaft ". This was originally to settlements for workers who worked in the remote, operated by water power hammer or grinding mills or mills and not daily the laborious journey from the city to work and were able to go back.

The hamlet as a form of settlement

A hamlet has - in contrast to a village - usually not a closed building and no building with a central function as a church or a guest house. This form of settlement is to be found particularly in western and southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Forms, however - with the same form of settlement - the church the center of the settlement, then one speaks of a Kirchweiler.

In human geography, map interpretation is called for up to 15 recognizable buildings of a hamlet. If aerial photographs interpreted, is allowed in the count if possible stables, sheds and extensions in mind.

In Austria differentiating exists to Weiler ( three to nine buildings in closer location ) and composting (buildings scattered arrangement regardless of the number ), the topographic labeling Scattered houses: " buildings that are spread over a large area, without regard to the number ". Closed places with more than nine buildings are considered as village. With only one or two buildings without settlement context, ie in the case of individual settlements, speaks, bedeutungsumfänglich ranked equal, of solitude, farmstead, detached, single layer, where the term monolayer, such as Bavarian Austrian, the importance of desolation, loneliness has.

As a rule, there are hamlets because of their small size, no street names. In these cases the place name occurs - then as district - the place of the street name. The house numbers should correspond yet to the spatial arrangement of the buildings, but can also run in no apparent order. Sometimes there is also a common house numbering for several such smaller places, possibly even over the whole municipality or major parts of it. It may also be the case that in a municipality, the streets are named, but carried the house numbering even in such smaller towns after this street naming.

Terms of Use


As far as settlements are not built-up areas within the meaning of the Road Traffic Regulations ( Germany ), on German roads such places can not be marked with a road sign and therefore have no speed limit. In order to still specify the place name, a local billboard may be used. As is often the case with hamlets, this sign is usually called a hamlet shield.


In Bavaria and is in accordance with the Resolution of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior dated October 18, 1950, basically any settlement with three to nine residential buildings as a hamlet. A larger settlement is considered as a village, a settlement with one or two residential buildings is called remote area.


As in Germany, depending on the location of regular houses signposts can be attached. In some cases, even simple signs attached with the place name, which are for information only and legally on the road have no effect.

United States

In the states of New York and Oregon, the term hamlet exists (English Hamlet) for small settlements, which do not form their own community. Hamlets may either be part of a larger community be (New York), or directly managed by the respective County are (Oregon ).