Huesca temática

Number 129 - February of 2009Spanish language Principal menu

Giant of Sallent

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 in 1896.
      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 born.

      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 exit.
      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 of Fermín.

  Click, another photograh

      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... "


 Otras fuentes de información  Manuel Tomé *  Diversas fuentes
** Manuel Tomé Bosqued

  Hay más artículos !!All literary articles of Upper Aragon (Huesca, España)

 Visite Huesca, le sorprenderá ....