Typical representation of the legend.

It is a legend that explains the origin of the name of Mägdesprung, a German town, which involves two giantesses.

This legend was told by brothers Grimm and Ludwig Bechstein.

What is Mägdesprung?

Mägdesprung is a village in the municipality of Harzgerode in the district of Harz. It is located in the Harz Mountains at a height of 295 m.

What means Mägdesprung?

The name of the village comes from a legend (later to be told), Mägdesprung comes from the German words "magd" (maid, servant) and "sprung" (jump).

So Mägdesprung would mean "the jump of maid".


Between Ballenstedt and Harzgerode, in the Selketal, people point to a tall rock, marked by a column, there is a precipice in the rock, which resembles the foot of a man, and eighty to a hundred feet more in a second foot. The legend of this is, however, different.

In the old days, a giant maid was waiting for her friend, a giant woman from Thuringia. After looking at her for a long time, she saw her friend climbing the valley in giant steps. As the rocks were too steep to be able to descend, the Thuringian giantess, tired of the long road, called her friend to jump. But the gigantic maid hesitated to make the leap. Then she heard a mocking cry: "She is so tall and does not dare jump!" The giantess saw a peasant carrying a large carriage loaded with wood. She took the peasants with their horses and chariots to her coat and jumped on the Selketal with great will. There he sat with the farmer's terrified chariot, and the giantess with her friend laughed at the frightened peasant. The place at the foot of the mountain was then called "Mägdesprung".


NOTE: The following illustrations were done by different artists, but all are very similar because they apparently did not know how to reinterpret the jump scene and preferred to plagiarize between them.


See also

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