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In the Footsteps of Mata Hari Tour

Who was Mata Hari? Was she truly a double agent, or simply an enchanting dancer? Fact is, she was an impressive, mysterious Frisian woman, and at the same time a cosmopolitan. And she still captivates the mind today. We introduce you to the world as it was when Mata Hari was growing up. Escape to a magical time and let this fascinating personality spellbind you.

Mata Hari was born in Leeuwarden on August 7th 1876. Her name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. Her father owned a hat shop, and had gained great wealth on the stock market. Margaretha was the apple of his eye, and was spoiled tremendously. She had a carefree childhood for many years. But then the Zelle family’s luck changed for the worse. Her father had been active on the stock market again, but this time he was left bankrupt. Her parents divorced soon after that, and her mother past away. When Margaretha was 18, she came in contact with Rudolf MacLeod, who was 20 years older than she was. They got married and they moved to Indonesia with their two children. Their son died at a very young age. The marriage didn’t last and Margaretha left for Paris. There she transformed into Mata Hari, an exotic dancer. She was a great success from day 1. The French police kept a close eye on her, as she mingled with several military people of great power. The police arrested her in February of 1917 because they suspected her of espionage. On October 15th of that same year, she was executed just outside of Paris.

Day 1: arrival
You arrive in Leeuwarden in the late afternoon. During the evening, you can enjoy a good meal in one of Leeuwarden’s restaurants.

Day 2: Leeuwarden and Mata Hari
Today, a local guide will take us on a tour through Mata Hari’s Leeuwarden. Our first stop is the Leeuwarden Historic Centre in the Prinsentuin. In this centre, they have numerous documents about Mata Hari and the Zelle family. During our walk, we pass several houses in which the Zelle family lived. We also visit the Mata Hari statue that was designed by Suus Boschma-Berkhout in 1976 for Mata Hari’s 100th birthday. The guide has many Mata Hari anecdotes up his sleeve for you, making her come to life as you walk the streets she once called home.

Day 3: Fries Museum
In the morning we visit the exhibition about Mata Hari at  the Fries Museum. Her scrapbooks, letters and head garments tell her story. This extraordinary woman became one of the world's fist celebirites in a ingenious way. She swore she was innocent up until her death. The legal document about her will then become public in 2017, the year that is her death's one hundred anniversary. The document will finally unveil whether Mata Hari truly was a double agent or not. In the afternoon you are free to plan individual activities. The Prinsentuin could be a nice place to go to, a park where Mata Hari used to play and relax quite often as a child. Take a picnic basket with you and enjoy a relaxing afternoon!

Day 4: departure
Today we say goodbye to Leeuwarden and head home.

Why not rent a boat and get a different sight of Leeuwarden through its canals?


In the Footsteps of Mata Hari Tour Highlights

  • A guide to Leeuwarden

    These enthusiastic guides know the hidden spots of the city and tell you all about the history, but they also know the nicest shops and most beautiful graffiti.

    Contact: Henk Leutscher
    T: 0615314728

    A guide to Leeuwarden
  • Drawing in nature

    During a nature walk we make occasional stops in order to be able draw.

    Drawing in nature
  • Friesland on a round trip boat

    From the water all elements of Friesland can be viewed as the boat passes all the important sights.

    Friesland on a round trip boat
  • Princessehof Museum of Ceramics

    This museum has the largest and most varied collection of Cinese porcelain in Holland and is world famous for the Asian, European and modern ceramics collections.

    Princessehof Museum of Ceramics