vara in Spain

In the 15th century Italian merchants recorded two varas in use for measuring cloth: one about 81.7 centimeters, and a second, longer one for linen cloth, about 155.6 centimeters.

Braccia uno e duo quinti di panno di Firenze fa in Sybilia varra una. Varra una di panno lino di Sybilia fa in Firenze braccia dua e duo terzi.

One and 2/5 braccia of cloth in Florence make one vara in Seville. One vara of linen cloth in Seville makes 2 2/3 braccia in Florence.

Chiarini, 1481.

The standard vara was the vara of Castile, (about 0.8359 meter, subdivided into 3 pies or 4 palmos), but there was considerable regional variation.  For each of the Spanish provinces in which the vara of Castile was not used, the following table lists the name of the unit that was used and its value in the mid-19th century. This information was published by the Spanish government in accordance with a royal order of 9 December 1852.

Province Unit Value
in meters
Albacete vara 0.837
Alicante vara 0.912
Almería vara 0.833
Balearic Islands
(Palma)
½ cana, 4 palmos 0.782
Barcelona cana = 8 palmos 1.555
Canary Islands vara 0.842
Castellón vara 0.906
Cuidad Real vara 0.839
Coruña vara de Madrid 0.843
Gerona cana 1.559
Guipúzcoa vara 0.837
Huesca vara 0.772
Jaén vara 0.839
Lérida ½ cana, 4 palmos 0.778
Lograño vara 0.837
Lugo vara 0.855
Madrid vara 0.843
Mallorca destre 4.214
Pamplona vara 0.785
Segovia vara de Albacete 0.837
Tarragona ½ cana = 4 palmos 0.780
Teruel vara 0.768
Toledo vara 0.837
Valencia vara 0.906
Zaragosa vara 0.772

 

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