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Homestead in the hamlet of St. Nikolai , part of the municipality of Keutschach in Carinthia, Austria
The core of the Schmid-Oberrautner winery in Bozen , South Tyrol , dates back to the 15th century

A homestead is a built-up plot of land of the rural type that is designed as a place to live and work for people who are closely related to one another or who work together.

Type of settlement

As a courtyard, the homestead consists of one or, rarely, several main houses and other functional buildings. Sometimes richer homesteads have their own chapels .

Homesteads are either typical forms of settlement ( heap yard , individual settlement ) or hamlets made up of several residences in cramped settlement areas (such as valley shoulders in the Alps, dry islands in wet areas with moorland colonization ) or have arisen from the inheritance of an original individual farm.

Different forms are the farm and the Herrenhof, Meierhof, Gutshof or Fronhof .

Local variants

In general, homestead, farm, farm and estate are largely used synonymously as the name of a farm within the locality . It is usually a family business. In wine-growing areas, the winery is the name for a group of buildings with a press house. A homestead outside the local area is called a Vorwerk if it was part of a higher-level economic unit such as a manor , a monastery or an inheritance court .

Typical for the Bavarian - Tyrolean - Salzburg area are the double farmsteads, which often have the additions Upper / Lower, Front / Rear or Inner / Outside ( South Tyrol ) in their common farm name . The term Hofschaft , which describes a collection of several houses or courtyards, is only common in the Bergisches Land .

Word origin

Homestead first appeared on the Lower Rhine in the 14th century as "hoofed" with the meaning of residence and is related to Hufe / Hube as an indication of the size of a country estate. Soon, however, it gained proximity to Hof with its complicated change in meaning.

Individual evidence

  1. GEHÖFTE, n. Coll. Zu hof, hofstätte u. similar. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . tape 5 : Gefoppe – Drifts - (IV, 1st section, part 2). S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1897 ( ).