While in some larger cities street art can be sometimes as easy to find as stepping out of your house door and being surrounded by an open-air gallery of painted exposures, it can be quite the opposite in other, usually smaller cities.

To discover a piece of street art worth the mentioning can be in such places like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Leeuwarden might be such a relatively smaller place. Too unknown to gain international attention and win street artists for a guest contribution.

Nevertheless, Leeuwarden’s streets are not completely untouched by creative hands. The street art scene is well-established and even bears a surprise here and there. If you love street arts like we do, you will surely enjoy our Guides to the colorful streets of Prague and Mostar.

A tribute to the local animal world

Insects and amphibians crawling up fuse boxes

Frog graffiti in LeeuwardenBee graffiti in Leeuwarden

Aquarium perfectly blending into the outer environment

Transparent aquarium street art, Achter de Hoven towards Potmarge, Leeuwarden

Mata Hari, femme fatale and key character during WW1, originated from Leeuwarden

Before landing a skyrocketing career as an exotic dancer and model, Margaretha Geertruida „Margreet“ was born on 7th August 1876 in Leeuwarden as the eldest of four children. Her father was doing good in the many businesses he was engaged, enabling him to build up and maintain a high education and lifestyle for his family.

In the course of growing up, first financial problems which were accompanied by marriage problems made the family bliss go out of the window, resulting in divorce.

With the age of 18 the former innocent prestigious girl from a Dutch province slowly began to take the reigns of her success into her own hands. This transformation was put into movement when she showed first interest in traditional Indonesian dances when she was married to a Dutch Colonial Army Captain. Working on her moves and holding first performances, she gave herself the artistic name Mata Hari, meaning „Sun“ in the Malay language.

Mata Hari installation in Leeuwarden
Being seen as the object of desire by many male Representatives of the contemporary rich and influential high society, Mata Hari was in the best position to pull the strings in the background, infiltrating as a political spy while she was flaunting wild love affairs. In the end, however, she herself was the one who got tricked by the men she once ruled, being sentenced to death after she was revealed as a spy during the First World War.

Exactly one hundred years after her death, on October 15, 1917, the Frisian Museum in Leeuwarden, the birthplace of Mata Hari, organized the largest ever Mata Hari exhibition, putting the spotlight on the rise and fall of this richly gifted woman in a time when women were often oppressed by men.

Balcony scene

Ancient dressed woman looking down from a balcony, graffiti in Leeuwarden

Retro memories of a golden century

Streetart of officer by bike near Wetsus along Potmarge, Leeuwarden

Streetart of skating family on Noordvliet, Leeuwarden

Decorating a construction site

Colorful street arts in Leeuwarden, NetherlandsColorful fish streetart in Leeuwarden

Jockey on carousel horse

Man on horse, Zaailand, Leeuwarden

The grin of Roy Schreuder, Leeuwarden street artist

Face portrait street art in Leeuwarden

The beginning is near

The beginning is near, chamaleons playing in the tree, Leeuwarden

May all your dreams come true

May all your dream come true, Streetart, Leeuwarden

Lion brothers

Two Lions, Noordvliet, Leeuwarden

Skull head

Skull under bridge, Dokkumertrekweg, Leeuwarden

The Geisha

Geisha, Chinese restaurant, streetart, Leeuwarden

Colorful houses

Colorful houses streetart, Leeuwarden

King William of Oranje

Shakespeare street art in Leeuwarden

Green energy

Cow streetart, Leeuwarden

Solar panels, wind turbines and biogas extracted from cow dung. Renewable energies are getting more and more important in times of resource scarcity and this artwork perfectly contributes to this environmental goal.

Intergalactic cat

Space cat streetart on house wall, Leeuwarden

Space chicken

Two chickens under the bridge at Dokkumertrekweg, Leeuwarden

Figments of Fantasy

Puffy elephant clouds

Streetart in the center of Leeuwarden

Caught in Flower Power

Graffiti Klokstraat, Leeuwarden

Psycho spray can

Graffiti Sixmastraat, Leeuwarden

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