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

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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BohemianBarfly
Viera, Florida
"Sensory Overload & Eccentric Indulgences in an Unusual Museum"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 05, 2018 NEW
This was one of the most unusual museums I have ever visited... the structure, the construction techniques, the contents, the history and the story of lives lived in this unique home can hardly be believed. It's a testament to what wealth combined with focused and eccentric tastes can create. The audio tour explains how this unique home was created along with the history of both the contents and owners. Brace yourself for sensory overload and enjoy an adventure through this one-of-a-kind home.
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amsfromaus
Canberra, Australia
"Wow!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 23, 2018
This museum is amazing. It was originally built as a residence and is just stunning. The furnishings and fittings have been maintained, along with displays of original photos and memorabilia. Hubby and I spent nearly 2 hours just wandering around admiring the architecture and everything inside. Definitely a "must-do" when in St Augustine!
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Detra P
south boston va
"Intriguing!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 22, 2018
Beautiful home!! I loved all the period furnishings. Learning the history of the house and it’s owners was particularly interesting. I also loved that there was plenty of parking during the day. It was only $10 on a weekday. If you have visited St. Augustine you know the parking alone is worth it. The proximity to Flagler College,Lightener Museum and St.Georges St. makes it a place to set out on your exploration of the city. A good parking spot and walking shoes will make for a wonderful day!!!!
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Ronald N
Headland, Alabama
"Historical, Beautiful, and Interesting"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 13, 2018
Young children might find this boring but for adults it is fantastic. Admission price includes free parking.
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SanfordFoodie
Sanford, Florida
"Glad we stopped in, very interesting and a nice audio tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 09, 2018
We've walked by this place before, but finally decided to stop in, and I'm glad we did, it was a very interesting visit. I certainly don't know much about the moors nor moorish architecture, but we found the self-guided audio tour here to be very interesting. There are many artifacts that are unique. Some of the furnishings are amazing hand-carved items. It really is a cool place and well worth a visit. And it's a value, as well.
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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.