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.

up to 1 hrs 1 or more people

Good To Know

  • Plan to spend about an hour.
  • Children 6 and under are admitted free.
  • Impressive Gilded Age architecture.
  • Tours run continuously throughout the day.
  • The Museum is on two levels. There is no elevator inside.
  • Guests with mobility issues should advise museum staff at the entrance or call ahead.
  • Admission includes a self-guided audio tour.
  • The Villa Zorayda Museum offers free parking to guests.

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 nation's oldest city!

After being 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 on 1/10th the scale of a section of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. This building set a precedent 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-1930s, it was opened as a museum featuring the priceless antique collections of both Franklin Smith and A.S. Mussallem, which is 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, and 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!
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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

Does the museum offer audio tours?

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

Is parking available?

Yes, parking is 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.