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Villa Zorayda Museum

83 King St, St. Augustine, FL 32084-4382
+1 904-829-9887
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Review Highlights
Unique Moorish Mansion

Enjoy the special candle light tours in a fascinating home led by entertaining family members. Be... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Clare C
,
San Antonio, Texas
Candlelight tour given by second owners relatives makes this tour even more interesting!

We have been to St Augustine numerous times but had never done a tour here. We booked the... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
macska
,
Paducah, Kentucky
Read all 339 reviews
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Take a step back in time as you enter this Grand Gilded Age home, built by Franklin W. Smith in 1883. Franklin Smith, an eclectic world traveler, was originally from Boston, and he built the Villa Zorayda as his winter home in St. Augustine, FL. Smith was the innovator of poured concrete and crushed coquina construction that is seen throughout St. Augustine today. On the "National Register of Historic Places", the Villa Zorayda is a 1/10th scale reproduction of a portion of the Moorish Castle, the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. View the elegant traceries on the walls made of alabaster and plaster which were made in Spain using the same molds that the Moors used for the walls of the Alhambra Palace! In addition to the magnificent architecture of the building is the original art and antique collection: hand pierced brass lamps, hand carved and exquisite inlaid furniture, an Egyptian rug over 2400 years old, and much more! You will also see beautiful hand painted Spanish & Egyptian tiles, Moorish horseshoe arches, and the beautiful architectural details from the Alhambra Palace. Learn the 133 year history of the Villa Zorayda as you take a state-of-the-art audio guided tour, which run continuously throughout the day. The audio guided tour is available in English, Spanish and French. Free parking while visiting the Museum.
  • Excellent56%
  • Very good30%
  • Average10%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“audio tour” (61 reviews)
“cat rug” (32 reviews)
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Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
LOCATION
83 King St, St. Augustine, FL 32084-4382
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1 - 10 of 332 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

Enjoy the special candle light tours in a fascinating home led by entertaining family members. Be forewarned - the group size for tours is quite large yet the space in the house is limited. Be prepared to stand for long periods and to navigate tight...More

Thank Clare C
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you for joining us for a Candlelight Tour, Clare C. The building was originally designed as a home in 1883, so some rooms are small- but not all of them! We limit the size of each group so it is more enjoyable for our...More

Reviewed 1 week ago

We have been to St Augustine numerous times but had never done a tour here. We booked the candlelight tour and really enjoyed it. You have the granddaughter of the second owner and her husband as your tour guides. She visited her grandfather here when...More

Thank macska
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hello Macska, we are so happy to hear that you enjoyed the Candlelight Tour! The Candlelight Tours are a great way to learn more in-depth history about the owners of the Villa Zorayda Museum. Thank you for visiting us!

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The relatives of a previous owner of this Villa run the place and give the tour. They are so nice and gave lots of interesting information. Great to do if you are interested in historical places. Cookies and refreshments before the candlelight tour were served....More

Thank Jennifer P
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hello Jennifer, we are happy to hear that you enjoyed the Candlelight Tour! Thank you for joining us.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The winter home of an aristocratic visionary, a playground for the elite, a prohibition era speakeasy and gambling house. Villa Zorayda has a deep and rich history that tells the story of an often overlooked side of St Augustine. This isn't another 'ancient city' tour....More

Thank damionwaters
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Damionwaters, thank you so much for your wonderful review! We are so happy that you enjoyed your visit of the Villa Zorayda Museum and that you learned so much of its vibrant history.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This museum seems very out of place which is why I liked it. the middle Eastern history contained within was more than I have ever experienced in one place. The Egyptian rug from cat hair was really cool. The fact that this place contained artifacts...More

Thank rich l
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hello Rich! Thank you for your review, we are happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit of the Museum. Today, the architecture and collection seem out of place, but back in the late 1800s they were all the rage! The original builder and owner,...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

My wife and I were on an anniversary getaway. We are both from the area and visit St Augustine quite often. We’ve passed the museum hundreds of times and not stopped. We heard another couple at the Westcott House mention it so we gave it...More

Thank Frank L
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hello Frank, we are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your visit of St. Augustine and the Villa Zorayda Museum! Franklin Smith is often overlooked, but we are trying to change that! Smith and his mason developed the method of crushed coquina and poured concrete-...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

If you like eccentric Victoriana in a Moorish style, this place is for you. We went in as the Xmas decorations were being set up, so beautiful. Never saw a place like this, but not for children, really. Must love eccentric, historical, over the top...More

Thank Pamela H
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thank you for your review Pamela. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit of the Villa Zorayda Museum! The Victorians were exactly who enjoyed this building back in the late 1800s!

Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Side stop after the Lightner Museum. Interesting place. So much to see and we had the exclusive Family Tour so got the real Feel for the House and History. Loved it.

Thank dawnandrews33
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi dawnandrews33, we are so happy to hear that you loved the Villa Zorayda Museum!

Reviewed 7 November 2017 via mobile

Built on a one-tenth scale of just one wing on the Alhambra Palace in Spain, the former home-nightclub Museum showcases architectural trends of its day as the first poured concrete structure in St. A. Two floors were open for viewing, featuring mostly the personal furnishings,...More

Thank EdandRuth
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 8 November 2017

Hello EdandRuth! Thank you for your review of the historic Villa Zorayda Museum! We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed learning the history of the Zorayda and seeing the beautiful collection. It sounds like you had a wonderful day in St. Augustine!

Reviewed 10 October 2017

Very interesting place. When you first walk in there is so much to see it is kinda overwhelming. But rent the self guided tour and go slow and look at everything. You can spend hours in here trying to see everything. So many interesting things...More

Thank Carol M
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 11 October 2017

Thank you Carol, we are so happy that you enjoyed your visit! We agree, there are so many pieces that are mind boggling!

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DON S
23 July 2015|
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