Villa Zorayda Museum in St. Augustine, FL

83 King StreetSt. Augustine, FL 32084
View on Map
Starting at
$10.00 $9.00
You Save: $1.00
INSTANT CONFIRMATION

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.

Tripster 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.
Read More

Was this review helpful? Yes

TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
mersee
Seekonk, Massachusetts
"Villa Zorayda Self Guided Tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 17, 2019 NEW
It was a hot day ... nice to go inside and cool off ... while looking at some awesome old antique art, furniture, items. The self guided tour was great. Take your time as you go thru. Sorry .. No Pics of the Inside. (Visit Aug 2018)
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
Canadesina
Tampa, Florida
"Unique museum - kids loved it!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 06, 2019 NEW
What a gem of a museum! We all loved the self-paced audio guide (especially the kids), allowing each visitor to spend as much or as little time looking at each item. Architecture is unique, items unique and super interesting (cat hair rug from Egypt anyone??), this place is a must-do in St. Augustine!
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
NowUKnow
Houston, Texas
"A Touch of Granada Spain In St Augustine"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 28, 2019 NEW
In 1883 Franklin W Smith decided to build a replica of the 12th- century Alhambra Palace as his winter home. It is built to scale and full of treasures and history. Very interesting and educational.
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
MillyMartinez2019
"Absolutely love!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 25, 2019
This is a wonderful collection of items from different countries in an absolutely incredible array that flows from room to room. The historical items are described in an audio device that allowed me wandered from room to room at leisure. Great experience! A most when in town!
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
shoegirltravels
Tampa, Florida
"Phenomenal"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 12, 2019
We were a little skeptical before going in here, but once we stepped into Villa Zorayda, we knew it would be an enjoyable visit. The self guided audio tour is really good and you can explore the museum at your pace. It is very well maintained and my young children really enjoyed themselves.
Read More
Star Map Pin Icon
Villa Zorayda Museum is located at 83 King StreetSt. Augustine, FL 32084
Attraction Map Pin IconAttractions Hotel Map Pin IconHotels & Lodging

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.