Dutch-born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was a welcome guest on the Orient Express. Under the stage name “Mata Hari”, which is a Malay expression for the sun, she travelled to numerous countries.
With her exotic and seductive dances she was very successful and acquainted with numerous personalities from politics and society.
In 1917, a double espionage activity was her undoing and led to her execution. The exact circumstances of their activity, however, remain a mystery.
The British writer is known worldwide for her exciting writing style and gripping stories. The world circulation of her books is said to be over two billion, making her one of the most successful authors in the history of literature.
She was best known for a large number of crime novels. Agatha Christie has made numerous stories take place in real locations. The most famous within this group is their novel Murder on the Orient Express.
On 1 January 1934, the successful novel was first published in Great Britain.
The Belgian railway entrepreneur and “King of Trains” was instrumental in the development of the Orient Express.
After numerous bureaucratic, economic and political obstacles, he succeeds in connecting Paris and Constantinople on tracks after decades of hard work. He placed particular emphasis on comfortable sleeping cars and high-quality dining cars. This makes travelling an attractive luxury experience.
The maiden voyage of the Orient Express then takes place in 1883. From Paris via Munich, Vienna, Budapest to Constantinople.
In the following years, he built up a rail network throughout Europe, which made it possible to connect numerous metropolises.
Henri Opper de Blowitz
In 1883, the French journalist reported on the official inaugural journey of the Orient Express at the invitation of Georges Nagelmackers. Also thanks to his enthusiastic report, a great demand for the new way of luxury travel followed.
Opper de Blowitz was the first Western journalist to manage to interview the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire after the inaugural voyage at its destination in Constantinople.