Hamlet (place)

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Oberwil in Waldkirch (Switzerland). About 3.100 people live in Waldkirch, which is near St. Gallen

A hamlet is a small settlement, smaller than a village. Usually, all settlers in a hamlet are centered around a single economic activity. A hamlet may consist of a farm, a mill, a mine or a harbor. All the people living there would be workers on that farm, mill, mine or harbour. Hamlets, especially those with a medieval church may have resulted from a medieval village, that was abandoned for some reason.

Because of the small size of the settlement, there are usually no buildings which have a central or admninistratrive function. There usually is no church, town hall or pub. Roads and streets in the hamlet do not have names, most of the time.

In Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Alsace region of France, such hamlets often have names that end in -wil, -wil(l)er, -wyhl or -viller.