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Franz Winkelmeier

Franz Winkelmeier

Tallest human
The basics
Date of birth Lengau, Braunau am Inn District, Upper Austria, Austria
Date of death Aug 24, 1887 Lengau, Braunau am Inn District, Upper Austria, Austria
Authority Library of congress id VIAF id
The details

Franz Winkelmeier (27 April 1860 – 24 August 1887) was, at 2.59 meters (8.5 ft) (some sources stating around 2.34m though), the tallest human during his time and one of the tallest humans in history. He was known as the Giant (German: Riese) of Friedburg-Lengau.

His life

He was born as a son of a mercenary family in Lengau, Upper Austria. Two years later, his parents bought the Schöscharngut between Friedburg and Lengau. In Friedburg, Franz Winkelmeier attended elementary school. Until the age of fourteen years, his growth was normal.

Franz Winkelmeier made his first public appearance as an anomaly on 6 October 1881 in Braunau. He was promoted by an efficient tailor from Friedburg, and appeared in Lower Austria, Steiermark, Carinthia, Görz, Triest, Fiume, Hungaria and Siebenbürgen.

In the summer of 1885 he was in Tyrol, and from 1 September until 30 November he was seen in the Concordia-Theater in Berlin. Even the tall soldiers of Emperor Wilhelm seemed to be dwarves beside him.

After appearing in more German cities, he went to Paris at the Folies Bergère theater. On 9 November 1886 he was hired by R. Rosingky to go to London. On 22 June 1887 he was presented to Queen Victoria. The famous doctor Rudolf Virchow confirmed his size.

As soon as he finished his tours, Franz Winkelmeier died of tuberculosis. He was buried in the cemetery in Lengau. In the restaurant Zum Riesen there are a lot of mementos of Franz Winkelmeier.

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