Leeuwarden’s most famous daughter, Mata Hari (1876–1917) was born Gertrud Zelle. Hari became a renowned “exotic” dancer after an early but unsuccessful marriage to a Dutch army officer. Although the Netherlands was neutral during World War I, Hari seems to have accepted a German bribe to spy for the kaiser. The French intelligence service soon got wind of the bribe – partly because she was also supposed to be working for them – and she was subsequently arrested, tried and shot. What she actually did remains a matter of some debate, but in retrospect it seems likely that she acted as a double agent, gathering information for the Allies while giving snippets to the Germans. Whatever the truth, there’s a small statue commemorating her at her partially clad best on Over de Kelders, erected on the hundredth anniversary of her birth in 1976.

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Netherlands features

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5 reasons why Nijmegen might just be the Netherlands' summer capital

5 reasons why Nijmegen might just be the Netherlands' summer capital

Nijmegen is a lively university city around an hour-and-a-half by train from Amsterdam. Beyond its famous Four Days Marches, it’s a fairly unassuming place a…

08 Aug 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
Photos: tulip season in the Netherlands is well under way and it's gorgeous

Photos: tulip season in the Netherlands is well under way and it's gorgeous

During a trip to Keukenhof in the Netherlands, travel photographer Nori Jemil captured Holland's tulip season through her lens and the results are beautiful. H…

25 Apr 2016 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
12 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

12 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

With its canals, narrow cobbled alleys and trams, the novelty value of Amsterdam can prove entertaining enough for many kids. There’s also a whole host of att…

30 Mar 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
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