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
Book Now
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.

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.
Read More

Was this review helpful? Yes

TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
ldtc2
Hoboken, New Jersey
"Interesting BUT .."
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed February 17, 2019 NEW
While I paid to see this museum and it was interesting - unless you are an antique dealer - it was just ok - wouldn't recommend it and certainly NOT for kids too many things that they might touch and break :)
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
vrgarcia2
Palm Bay, Florida
"Informative"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 11, 2019 NEW
Villa Zorayda is a nice little museum that was very interesting. I learned a bit more about St. Augustine.
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
626lloydm
Mount Juliet, Tennessee
"Thursday in SA"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 07, 2019 NEW
If you like museums, VZM is worth the time. Smells a little musty inside and you have to climb stairs. No photos. Interesting visit. Suggest not for kids.
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
Dennis J
Boston, Massachusetts
"Very unique"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 10, 2019
Small private residence based on the Alhambra in Spain. House has had only two owners over 105 years so many artifacts are original to the house. Built by a Boston architect in the late 1800's. Very interesting. Not something you would normally see. Free audio tour is helpful.
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
Alverda N
"receptionist not accommodating"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed January 07, 2019
I paid $38.00 for my son and grandaughters to visit museum. I also told her I had toured last year and as a senior citizen I could not do the tour again but I politely asked her if i could use the restroom and was told NO....She was also rude when my grandaughter asked directions to the restroom later. She was scrolling around on her cellphone and didnt want to help visitors. I will not take any other visitors there even though it is a nice museum.
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.