Mata Hari (1876 - 1917) was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan. In her heyday in Paris, she was famous and desired throughout Europe. But her life ended tragically, because the French accused her of spying and executed her during World War I.
- Come closer than ever to the mysterious Mata Hari.
- Leaf through her personal scrapbooks.
- See previously unrevealed files.
The Life of Mata Hari
Margaretha Geertruida Zelle (Mata Hari’s real name) was born in Leeuwarden. After a failed marriage, she decided to move to Paris. Within the shortest time she became one of the most sought after dancers. She performed in every major city in Europe.
As a courtesan, she had relationships with high-ranking officers, politicians and other influential people. These contacts and the fact that she was Dutch and could thus cross borders freely during the First World War led to suspicions. Mata Hari was arrested and accused for spying by the French in 1917. Though there was no real evidence, she was found guilty and executed by a firing squad.
Fries Museum Leeuwarden
If you want to know more about the life story of Mata Hari, you should visit the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden. The museum has one room fully dedicated to the world famous Mata Hari. Her story has inspired many filmmakers and her life was symbolic for the decline of Europe at that time.
Mata Hari: The Myth and the Maiden
A hundred years after her death, France has finally released her dossier. During Leeuwarden - Friesland 2018 Mata Hari: the myth and the maiden, The Fries Museum is set to present an exhibit about the famous Frisian spy. Take an exclusive look at military files, read her personal letters and discover more about the compelling yet tragic life of Mata Hari. The exhibition is open until April 2nd.
Spending the night in Leeuwarden
Are you searching for a hip design hotel, a romantic bed & breakfast, or a pleasant holiday home for your family? Leeuwarden has suitable accommodations for every taste and budget. Check out the comprehensive selection and book your perfect holiday here!