Haymon

Last updated
Figure of the giant Haymon in the chapel in Wilten Wilten-riese-haymon.jpg
Figure of the giant Haymon in the chapel in Wilten
Haymon and the dragon with its tongue torn; below the monastery of Wilten. Copperplate engraving from Topographia Provinciarum Austriacarum by Matthaus Merian (1679) Cl. Wilthan und Bildnuss Heimonii (Merian).jpg
Haymon and the dragon with its tongue torn; below the monastery of Wilten. Copperplate engraving from Topographia Provinciarum Austriacarum by Matthäus Merian (1679)


Haymon is a mythical figure from Tyrol in form of a giant. It is said that Haymon was the founder of Stift Wilten  [ de ], a premonstratensian abbey, located in the south of Innsbruck. He is said to have lived between 600 and 900 years ago and to have died in the year 878 A.D. in Wilten. According to a 13th-century sources, Haymon's grave is at the altar of the Collegiate Church in Wilten.

Contents

It has been speculated that Haymon was a Bavarian nobleman named Haimo. Albeit its similar spelling and pronunciation to the ancient Greek name Haimon (Greek : Αἵμων), no relation could be shown.


Tradition

Different traditions have been amalgamated in the legend of the giant Haymon.

In the 15th century, the local legend of the Gold-Guarding Dragon who lives on the hill Bergisel east of the river Sill was created. This dragon was killed by Haymon. Set in gold, the dragon's tongue (the horn extension of a sword fish) is still today shown in the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck.

Another tradition, which comes up about the 16th century, reports of a fight between Haymon and the giant Thyrsus, who lived in the area of Zirl and Seefeld, eventually killing him. From Thyrsus's blood (the so-called Thyrsenblut the healing Tyrolean Shale Oil or Ichtltyol is extracted. The last words of the giant Thyrsus were: "Blood spray! Be good for man and beast! (Spritz Bluet! Sei für Viech und Menschen gut!)" Thus, Haymon, the immigrant from the north, defeats the local Thyrsus.

In remorse, Haymon takes the Christian faith being baptized by the Bishop of Chur. Thereafter, he founded the monastery Wilten which he hands over to Benedictine monks from the Tegernsee Abbey. Then he joined the order as a lay brother and stayed there until his death. Towards the end of the 16th century, all these motives could be found in the founding legend of the monastery Wilten.

Even in the 17th century, the belief in the historical existence of the giant Haymon was still so strong that the then abbot of the monastery Wilten had an excavation for Haymon's bones carried out in the church. The excavations ended without result, eventually throwing over parts of the church.

According to contemporary scholarly interpretation of the 17th Century, the giant Thyrsus represents the Romansh people while the invading Bavarians, who populated the Inn valley as of the 6th century, are being represented through Haymon. In the fight between Haymon and Thyrsus the defeat of the Romansh people by the Bavarians is symbolized.

While Thyrsus is often depicted as a somewhat primitive layman who is fighting with a torn tree, Haymon is depicted as a gallant giant with a sword. Life-size figures of the two giants Haymon and Thyrsus can be found at Wilten where they are at the entrance to the church. An engraving from 1677 by J.J. Jezl shows Haymon as a knight with a sword and the dragon's tongue in his hands. The signature says "Haymon Fundator Monasterii Wilthinensis, obiit Anno D. 878" (Haymon founder of the monastery in Wilten, died 878).

Miscellaneous

In the region around Innsbruck, various restaurants [1] and institutions are named after the giant Haymon.

Books

Related Research Articles

Innsbruck Capital city of Tyrol, Austria

Innsbruck is the capital of Tyrol and fifth-largest city in Austria. On the River Inn, at its junction with the Wipp Valley, which provides access to the Brenner Pass 30 km (18.6 mi) to the south, it had a population of 132,493 in 2018.

Inn (river) River in Germany

The Inn is a river in Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria. It is a right tributary of the Danube and is 518 kilometres (322 mi) long. The highest point of its drainage basin is the summit of Piz Bernina, at 4,049 metres (13,284 ft). The Engadine, the valley of the En, is the only Swiss valley whose waters end up in the Black Sea.

Kufstein Municipality in Tyrol, Austria

Kufstein is a town in the Austrian state of Tyrol, the administrative seat of Kufstein District. With a population of about 18,400, it is the second largest Tyrolean town after the state capital Innsbruck. The greatest landmark is Kufstein Fortress, first mentioned in the 13th century.

Landeck Place in Tyrol, Austria

Landeck is a city in the Austrian state of Tyrol, the capital of the district of Landeck.

Innsbruck, an Austrian city, was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938. It was bombed 22 times by the Allies in World War II, suffering heavy damage.

Ampass Place in Tyrol, Austria

Ampass is a municipality in the Innsbruck-Land District, Tyrol (Austria) situated at an altitude of 651 m, has an area of 7.9 km2 and 1793 inhabitants as January 2015.

Grinzens Place in Tyrol, Austria

Grinzens is a municipality in the Austrian state of Tyrol in the district of Innsbruck-Land. As of January 2015, its population is 1414. It lies southwest of the city of Innsbruck at an elevation of 945 m.

Leutasch Place in Tyrol, Austria

Leutasch is a municipality in the northern part of the district Innsbruck-Land in the Austrian state of Tyrol about 30 km northwest of Innsbruck and 10 km northwest of Seefeld in Tirol

Matrei am Brenner Place in Tyrol, Austria

Matrei am Brenner is a small municipality in the southern part of the District Innsbruck-Land and is located approximately 17 km south of Innsbruck. Matrei has always been an important station for commerce. The village has 902 inhabitants, at 992 m. above sea level and the Sill river flows through it.

Heime

Heime (German), Háma, or Heimir was a Germanic figure in Germanic heroic legend who often appears together with his friend Witige. He appears in the Anglo-Saxon poems Beowulf and Widsith, in the Scandinavian Þiðrekssaga and in German epics such as Alpharts Tod.

Andreas Oxner Purported Austrian ritual murder victim

Anderl (Andreas) Oxner von Rinn, also known as Andreas Oxner, is a folk saint of the Roman Catholic Church. A later writer alleged that the three-year-old boy had been ritually murdered by the Jews in the village of Rinn.

Tyrolean Rebellion

The Tyrolean Rebellion of 1809 was a rebellion of peasants in the County of Tyrol led by Andreas Hofer against the occupation of their homeland by the French and Bavarian troops within the context of the War of the Fifth Coalition against Napoleon I.

Tyrol Region across the Alps

Tyrol is a historical region in the Alps—in Northern Italy and western Austria. The area was historically the core of the County of Tyrol, part of the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, from its formation in the 12th century until 1919. In 1919, following World War I and dissolution of Austria-Hungary, it was divided into two modern administrative parts through the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye:

Joseph Ennemoser

Joseph Ennemoser was a South Tyrolean physician and stubborn late proponent of Franz Mesmer's theories of animal magnetism. He became known to English readers through Mary Howitt's translation of his History of Magic.

Heinrich von Winkelried

Heinrich von Winkelried, known as Schrutan or Strut "the giant", was a medieval knight in what is now Central Switzerland.

Tyrolean shale oil is a black, strong-smelling oil found in the stones of Karwendel Mountains, a mountain range of the Northern Limestone Alps in Austria and Germany.

The giant Thyrsus is a mythical figure from Tyrol. He is said to have lived in Leithen close to Reith.

Bergmönch

The Bergmönch is a mountain spirit from German folklore. He is also known as Meister Hämmerling.

Gabriele Maria Deininger-Arnhard German-Austrian painter

Gabriele Maria Deininger-Arnhard (31 July 1855 in Munich – 19 October 1945 Rum, Tyrol) was a German-Austrian painter.

Matthias Wißhofer

Matthias Wißhofer was an Austrian freedom fighter, clergyman and pastor. He also served as the first school inspector for the Tyrolean Unterland. In addition, he was an amateur inventor, and is said to have devised an "electric shotgun".

References