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Villa Zorayda Museum, St. Augustine

4.2
#12 of 27 in Museums in St. Augustine
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Specialty Museum
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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 precedence for St. Augustine and began the Moorish Spanish revival of architecture that is seen throughout the city today.

In 1913, it was purchased by Abraham S. Mussallem, an authority on Oriental rugs, fine arts and Egyptian artifacts. In the early 1900s, the Zorayda was leased out and turned into a club. In 1922, the Zorayda Club became one of the most fashionable places for casino gambling.

In the mid 1930s, it 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 minute audio guided tour (available in English, Spanish, and French) 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 antique pieces, which are original to the home.

Please call 904-829-9887 for hours of operations and prices.

Besides being a museum, we also hold wedding services and private parties.

Wedding photos are located on our website; please email us at villazorayda@bellsouth.net for more information.

During the Holiday Season, the museum opens its doors during the evenings. Our Candlelight Tours are on select dates. Please visit our website for more information about our Candlelight Tours.
To visit Villa Zorayda Museum on your trip to St. Augustine, use our St. Augustine planner.
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Villa Zorayda Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
469 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • It's not a huge attraction, but the owner was a world traveler and collector, so there's a lot of artifacts to see. The Alhambra it is not, but it's a very cluttered house with architecture that... 
    It's not a huge attraction, but the owner was a world traveler and collector, so there's a lot of artifacts to see. The Alhambra it is not, but it's a very cluttered house with architecture that...  more »
  • Loved the audio recorded narration on this tour. The Villa is small by today's standards but is packed with Moorish artifacts and architecture. Felt like I stepped into Genie's bottle. 
    Loved the audio recorded narration on this tour. The Villa is small by today's standards but is packed with Moorish artifacts and architecture. Felt like I stepped into Genie's bottle.  more »
Google
  • Very understated by tourist experts. Step back in time and enjoy the self guided tour of this amazing building. Such wonderful attention to detail in the architecture so many beautiful antiques to see. Too bad they do not allow indoor pictures
  • We went for the candlelight tour. We really enjoyed the whole tour. We did pay a little more than the normal price but was so worth it

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