Franz Winkelmeier

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Franz Winkelmeier
Born27 April 1860
Died23 August 1887 (aged 27)
Other namesThe Giant of Friedburg-Lengau, Riese (German for the "Giant")
Notable workGuard
Height2.59 m (8 ft 6 in)
            8 ft 5.5 in (2.578 m)
Poster advertising the tallest man in the world: Herr Winkelmeier.

Franz Winkelmeier (27 April 1860 – 24 August 1887) was an Austrian man who was promoted as the worlds tallest man at 8 ft 6 in (2.58 m).[1] He was known as the Giant (German: Riese) of Friedburg-Lengau.


He was born as a son of a family of smallholding farmers 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.

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.



  1. ^ Virchow, Rudolf (1885). "Ausserordentliche Sitzung vom 25. October 1885" [Extraordinary session of October 25, 1885]. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie (in German). 17: 469–472.

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