Villa Zorayda Museum in St. Augustine, FL

83 King StreetSt. Augustine, FL 32084
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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.


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!

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

Teekeela Aranda
Hahira, GA
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great museum"
April, 2018
Loved all the beautiful detail. The history was interesting, with a little bit of a ghost story.
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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Lizbeth A
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed September 29, 2018 NEW
Walking in, we get “greeted” by a mousy girl who spoke at the volume of a whisper. Her demeanor made me want to leave immediately. We decided to still give it a shot and the information provided by the audio was scattered. Some exhibits went on and on with random information and others would be “this is a stick”. We were completely disappointed with the experience. They really need to get someone else to greet people if the museum itself isn’t up to par, at least the greeter can fake the excitement.
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Ralph C
Savannah, Georgia
"trip to st aug"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 11, 2018
excellent house museum full of antiques with an Egyptian connection. easy to use hand held narrated guide. does have one set of stairs to climb. we really enjoyed it.
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Paula S
London, United Kingdom
"Small but interesting"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed August 26, 2018
This is a very historical and interesting museum, but its rather small. I would say you should only go in if you are really, really interested in the history of the Villa.
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Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
"Unique historical property"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 25, 2018
Today I took a guided tour of this privately owned museum conducted by one of the property owners. Very interesting Moorish designed home with lots of artifacts and furnishings. They also offer audio tours with admission if you aren't able to schedule a guided tour.
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Fairfax, Virginia
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed August 18, 2018
Seeing photos, I wanted to see this, however I was disappointed. It is much smaller that I imagined. If your into the Moorrish style - this is for you. Somethings were interesting --- not for younger children - I think they would be bored.
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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.