| Popular personage
that mistakes like legend
He is Fermín Arrudi Urieta,
native of Sallent de Gállego (Huesca). He was born the 5 of
July 1870, and with his 2,29 mts. of height covered half a world exhibiting
his anatomy. For his ring a fat coin of those times passed, the clock
weighed more than 4 pounds, his foot took 40 cms. (his number of shoes
was 58), his hands 30 cm., the thorax a circumference of 1,35 m. and
his corporal weight was of 170 kg.
In the Autumn 1885, with only 15 years
old, fell sick, being prostrated in bed prey of strong pains of articulations
and head. When he got up of the bed, already in the month of November,
he had grown ten centimeters (he had 1,90 mts of stature). Three years
later, when 18 years old, he measured 2,10 mts. and weighed 120 kgrs..
Fermín Arrudi suffered of acromegaly, his force was almost
that of 10 men and he helped in the house works and the field. He
alone could take out a car of the caude of the river. Little before
turning the 19 year sold, he measured 2,18 mts. and he almost weighed
140 kgrs. Every time that he was ill, he grew.
A neighbor near Saragossa city, on
the town of Cariñena that habitually visited Sallent,
thought that would be profitable to exhibit to Fermin and his
enormous force for these worlds and presented him in Pilar's 1891
parties; with a such success that was able to go to Madrid
before the Regent María Cristina and here son Alfonso XIII
(still a boy) . Then he would go to Barcelona, Paris, Berlin
and Vienna. He was also present in the Universal Exhibition of Berlin
Farmers' son, had a brother of normal
stature and a sister of 1,90 m. of height. He was object of studies
in universities and in Munich one was sured that he was the biggest
giant and better provided in musculature and coordination. He threw
the barrón ( an iron block) as if it would be of paper and
May 24 1905 he killed a bear in the mounts of Sallent, fighting
body to body, being only served as his own hands and of a mount knife.
The news was picked up in the Almanac Bailly-Baillier of the date.
He was a true artist and very intuitive. He played with dexterity:
guitar, violin, lute, tambourine, hierrecillos, requinto
(a little guitar), mandola, flute and armonium. His stentorian voice
and of hefty bell, resounded with the 'rondaderas' (a walking
songs) of those days, and the jota (jot, tipical dance) , always
big, in his throat became gigantic as same Fermín. His personality
was affable, of good treatment, enormous generosity and pleasure for
the uses and customs of the Aragonese tradition. His life was debated
between the fame and the activity of his trips and performances and
his desire of enjoying a calm and gentle life in his native Sallent.
Although he hot a respectable money
fortune showing his anatomy for half a world, Paris, New York, Vienna...
Fermín always avoided of this servitude that was forcing him to interpret
the extraordinary personage who was detesting. They tell that in those
endless tours his face was dyed of sadness and decency given a complex
by the smiles, the solitude and the enormous admiration that were
provoking his more than two meters high. This introversion was turning
in exultant vitality when he was returning to Sallent, when
he was returning to his house and was meeting with his countrymen.
From each trip he was bringing gifts for whole town, an extensive
collection of anecdotes loaded with extraordinary experiences and,
especially, more desire of never going out of the vale where he was
In the mounts of the Vale of Tena
Fermín was spending long days practising the hunting (bears,
sarrios....), for the fields of the family. His formidable
anatomy was more valuable than any machine and in the moments of free
time he took out his tiny guitarrico and intoned jots that
were speaking about love and about the small ground.
Paris was the idyllic stage where he
met Louis Carle Dupuis, an arrogant, slender Parisian and of good
education, who would be soon his wife. With her Fermín
lived his happiest years, those in which the economic prosperity allowed
him to construct his own house in Sallent, buy a small cattle
and prolong there his stays increasingly. He alternated tours. Cuba,
New York - the biggest success of his life - and again the Pyrenees.
The last part of his life was marked
by a trip to Argentina and for the shade of the suspicion about
his wife's fidelity. Expo of Zaragoza 1908 was his spectacular last
May of 1913, 4 about to turn 43 years,
the Aragonese Giant of Sallent died, possibly the last well-known
heir of a legendary lineage of Aragonese atlases.
Arrudi always stood out, as
the tower of the church of his town. He worked in the station of Canfranc,
but he soon saw that his future was in the exhibition. With great
success, he allowed to see his hight stature in some Pillars Festivals,
in the old Arch of San Roque (current Adriatic), and he also
traveled cities of Germany, Holland, Belgium, Austria, France, New
York in EE. UU., South America, Caribbean, Algeria... Fermín
traveled a half world and he returned to die to his town. Years later,
in 1998, Sallent put his name to a long walk, parallel to the
river. The street map and a beautiful book conserve the good memory
Six men carry with difficulty his coffin
for the narrow streets that lead to the church. He was almost 43 years
old and the trace that left in Sallent was so big as his body.
The parish priest of the town, Mosen Miguel, forgot the cold
bureaucracy to write in the Book of Deceased his death certificate:
"... Fermín Arrudi Urieta, was known with the name of 'Aragonese
Giant' by his extraordinary height: two meters twenty-nine centimeters;
for the ring of his finger a currency of ten cents amply passed. His
footwear measured forty centimeters long for eighteen wide; he was
lifted weights that four robust men could not move... "