braza [Spanish]


A unit of length in Spain and many Spanish-speaking South American nations, ? – 20ᵗʰ century. In original concept the braza, like the English fathom, is the distance from tip to tip of outstretched arms.

Country Length Source
Argentina = 2 vara, 1.7332 meters (about 5.682 feet) 1
Spain, Chile globe icon. and Costa Rica about 1.672 meters (about 5.48 feet) 1
province of Valencia, Spain
19th century
braza = 2 varas = 6 pies = 8 palmos = 32 quartos
about 1.860 m, (but Altès says 1.814 meters)
The braza real (royal braza) = 9 palmos
about 2.041 meters
Colombia 1.60 meters (about 1.750 yards) 1

1. United Nations, 1966.

2. Doursther (1840), page 73, whose values are from Kelly and Altès.


A unit of land area in Spain. In most cases it is simply a square braza.

Country Nomenclature Area
in square meters
province of Valencia, Spain
19ᵗʰ century
braza 3.462
braza real 4.165²


2, 3
province of Canarias, Spain braza 3.2801 3
province of Castellón, Spain braza real 4.1554 3
Colombia, Panama and the Philippines braza 2.79
(3.34 square yards)

1. United Nations, 1966.

2. Doursther (1840), page 73.

3. Dirección General del Instituto Geográfico y Estadístico.
Equivalencias entre las Pesas y Medidas Usadas Antiguamente en las Diversas Provincias de España y las Legales del Sistema Métrico-Decimal.
Publicadas de Real Orden.
Madrid: Imprenta de la Dirección General del Instituto Geográfica y Estadístico, 1886.


The braza de cuidad, in the city of Manila in the Philippines, a unit of length used in surveying land, = 8 piés, 7 pulgadas, and 6 líneas of the standard of Burgos = 3 varas less 1/8 of a vara = about 2.4012 meters. Also called a realenga or realengo. See quiñón.


Para representar las extenciones de las superficies de un terreno ó sementera toman los Manilos por unidad la Braza de Ciudad (Realenga), que es una longitud de 8 piès, 7 pulgadas, y 6 líneas de Burgos.

To represent distances in [measuring] the area of a piece of land or sown field, the people of Manila take as the unit the Braza de Cuidad (Realenga) which is a length of 8 piés, 7 pulgadas, and 6 líneas of Burgos.

Eduardo Sanchez Pita.
El Consultor del Sistema mètrico o Tablas de reducción de las pesas y medidas….
Published by the author, 1868.
as quoted in
S. Martin.
Tablas de las pesas y medidas que se usan en Filipinas.
Manila: Philippine Publishing Co., 1901.

X A map showing the location of Chile.

Where is Chile?

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