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 firstname.lastname@example.org f
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