Villa Zorayda Museum in St. Augustine, FL

83 King StreetSt. Augustine, FL 32084
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Overview

Located just across from Flagler College and a few blocks from The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, the Villa Zorayda Museum lets guests get an up-close view of the architectural work of art created in 1883 by Franklin Smith. The museum offers state-of-the-art self-guided audio tours that are available throughout the day, as well as special behind-the-scenes tours on select Tuesdays.

Description

from Villa Zorayda Museum
After several years of historical renovation, the Villa Zorayda with its collection of unique antiquities is a must see on your visit to our nations oldest city!

Closed for several years the Villa Zorayda Museum has undergone an extensive renovation and is once again open to the public as a museum. On the National Register of Historic Places it was built in 1883 as the winter residence of Franklin Smith utilizing his method of construction of poured concrete and crushed coquina shell. It is built 1/10th the scale of a section of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. This building set a precedence for St. Augustine and began the Moorish Spanish revival of architecture that is seen throughout the city today. In 1904 it became the Zorayda Club.

On display for the first time ever is the custom made bone china made exclusively for the Zorayda Club. In 1913 it was purchased by Abraham S. Mussallem, an authority on Oriental rugs, fine arts and Egyptian artifacts. In 1922 it became one of the most fashionable places for casino gambling. In the mid 1930's it was opened as a museum featuring the priceless antique collections of both Franklin Smith and A.S. Mussallem which are still on display today. The 45-60 minute tour gives an in depth look at the historical significance of the building to the City of St. Augustine, the magnificent architecture as well as descriptions of the many exquisite pieces you will see. On display is the "Sacred Cat Rug" over 2400 years old and made from the hairs of ancient cats that roamed the Nile River. Taken from a pyramid in Egypt it is said to possess a curse for anyone that walks on it!

VILLA ZORAYDA "BEHIND THE SCENES'/AUDIO GUIDED TOUR AVAILABLE
Visitors will be taken to rarely seen areas of the museum where we will give an explanation of what the area was used for in the past and what future plans may be coming. Highlight of the tour is the never seen before "Tower of the Princesses" located on the third floor which was a bedroom in the original house and where time has virtually stood still. *Stairs are steep and narrow and visitors must be in good physical condition to make the climb. Approximate time will be about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Reserve St. Augustine Customer Reviews

Have you been to Villa Zorayda Museum? Share your knowledge and be the first to review this.
TripAdvisor Reviews
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Leah K
"Nighttime tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 26, 2017 NEW
Absolutely gorgeous! The owners gave the tour and it couldn't have been better! Highly recommend going to this beautiful museum!
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826albertj
Dayton, Ohio
"So many unique items gathered in one place from several centuries"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed May 25, 2017 NEW
Very interesting in seeing this collection imported from all over the world from different centuries. The fact the tile and so much of the building had to be shipped is unbelievable knowing when the building was erected. A great visit that allows you to tour at your own pace in a self administered tour. Lasts approximately one hour
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Magnoliapretty
Miami
"Unique place "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 24, 2017 NEW
My boyfriend and I visited the museum and were amazed by the historical exposition Beautiful architecture, very unique furniture and to be honest I've never seen such a nice place that makes you feel like you back to 19th century !One of the best places in St. Augustine!(Check on the fire extinguisher!something that you will never see anywhere ) Thanks for the owner and the museum crew!!!we will come back)
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cajunndave
lafayette, louisiana
"Bathroom stop"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed May 19, 2017 NEW
Only stopped here because we needed to use the bathroom. Was a narrated self guided tour. Overall ok
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Tbrads123
Rome, Georgia
"A true beauty"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 18, 2017 NEW
A stop on the hop on hop trolly. A must see, beautiful items from Spain, great history. Across the street from Flager College, another must see.
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Villa Zorayda Museum is located at 83 King StreetSt. Augustine, FL 32084
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Frequently Asked Questions about Villa Zorayda Museum

Do you offer audio tours?
Yes, self guided audio tours are available in English, Spanish and French. Prices for the audio tours are $10.

Is there parking?
Yes, located in St. Augustine’s Historic District visitors receive FREE PARKING while visiting the museum (one vehicle maximum).

When is the last admission time?
From Monday through Saturday, the last admission time is 4:30pm; the museum closes at 5pm. On Sunday, the museum closes at 4pm.