Place of interest

12. Measures, markets and artisans

The grain measures are located under the porches of Carrer Major, close to the junction with Carrer Capdevila. These are two structures built from large blocks of stone that were used to measure amounts of grain and to settle purchase and sale transactions. The grain was tipped into one of the three open funnel-shaped receptacles at the top that established the measure. Then, opening a small metal trapdoor, the grain dropped into the buyer’s sack. There are two measures. The oldest date from 1579 based on an engraved inscription to which, at some unknown point, someone added a line to the 5 to make it two centuries older. The later measures were built in 1840, again according to the engraved inscription.

The oldest record of the existence of grain measures in La Seu d’Urgell dates back to the year 1212. The control of measures depended on the Bishop, Lord of the city, who contracted out the management of the service. This service was important given that the official and verified measures were fixed for a wide geographical area. The measures of 1579 were installed by the consuls of La Seu d’Urgell in front of the home of Damià Salmurri, who received compensation of thirty sous annually in exchange for checking the quality of the wheat that arrived.

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