Łan [wan] (in English lan; in Latin laneus, in German Lahn), is an old unit of field measurement used in Poland. Since the 13th century, its value has varied from one location to another. A greater łan (also Franconian, King's, Old Polish) consisted of 43.2 morgs = 23 to 28 hectares. A lesser łan (Chełmno łan) was 30 morg ≈ 17,955 hectare.

The term eventually derives from German Lehen, "fee" (feudal land tenure).[1][2] The term łan was also used to indicate an average size of a peasant's tenured farm. Łan was further subdivided into zagony ("belts") and further into skiby ("slices").

In medieval times the size of a łan was anywhere between 3 and 50 hectares, but from the 13th century to 1857 in Great Lesser Poland (with Podkarpacie), the Franconian Łan was consistently used.

Comparison of Area units in Lesser Poland 1791-1876, 1 Franconian morg = 1 Viennese morg (system morgi dolnoaustriackiej)
Unit Miara(Unit) Sążeń², (Viennese fathom²) Łokieć² (Viennese ell²)
1 morg (morgen) (= 0.5755 ha) 3 1600 6439.02 5754.64
1 miara (Unit) (= 19.18 are) 533.33 2929.07 1918
1 sążeń² wiedeński (Viennese fathom) 4.0237 3.6
1 łokieć² wiedeński (Viennese el²) 0.9


  1. ^ Janina Szewczyk: Włóka. Pojęcie i termin na tle innych średniowiecznych jednostek pomiaru ziemi. Warszawa: Polskie Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1968, pp. 18-19.
  2. ^ Aleksander Brückner: Słownik Etymologiczny Języka Polskiego. Kraków: Krakowska Spółka Wydawnicza, 1927, p. 306.