A verst (Russian: верста, versta) is an obsolete Russian unit of length defined as 500 sazhen. This makes a verst equal to 1.0668 kilometres (3,500 feet).
Plurals and variantsEdit
In the English language, verst is singular with the normal plural versts. In Russian, the nominative singular is versta, but the form usually used with numbers is the genitive plural verst – 10 verst, 25 verst, etc. – whence the English form.
A mezhevaya versta (Russian: межевая верста, literally 'border verst') is twice as long as a verst.
"The verst of the 17th century was 700 sazhens or 1.49 km as against the 500 sazhens or 1.067 km it became at the time of Peter the Great."
In Finland, a virsta was originally 1,068.84 m according to the Swedish standard, but the Russian verst of 1,066.8 m replaced it after the province was annexed to the Russian Empire in 1809. A virsta was originally 600 sylis (fathoms, 1.781 m), but was then changed to 500 syli, since the Russian syli was longer, 2.134 m. A Finnish virsta was defined as 1⁄10 of a peninkulma, the Finnish language name for the pre-metric Swedish mil, used in Finland since the early 17th century (see Obsolete Finnish units of measurement). Metrication replaced virsta with the kilometre in the 1880s.