Villa Zorayda Museum: A Moroccan Breeze in St Augustine

Villa Zorayda Museum is a must-see for anyone visiting St Augustine, Florida. This Moorish-style castle was built in the 19th century by Franklin W. Smith, an American millionaire who was impressed by the architecture he saw while traveling in Spain. Today Villa Zorayda is one of the most popular tourist attractions in St. Augustine and the reason is simple.

The Villa Zorayda Museum is a historic house museum in St Augustine. It is based on the Moorish architecture of the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. Villa Zorayda was originally built as a private home for Franklin W. Smith, an inventor and businessman from Boston, Massachusetts.

Villa Zorayda Museum St Augustine Building
Villa Zorayda Museum

Villa Zorayda was one of the first poured concrete buildings in the United States, and its design and construction methods were widely publicized and copied. After Smith’s death, the building was sold to George R. Wadsworth, who turned it into a casino and hotel known as the Hotel Alcazar. The hotel was later purchased by Abe and Agnes Gitlen and turned into a museum.

Villa Zorayda Museum Indoor
Villa Zorayda Museum

Over the years Villa Zorayda has undergone various renovations and expansions, but its original Moorish revival style architecture remains intact. Today, Villa Zorayda is one of St Augustine’s most popular tourist attractions and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Villa Zorayda Museum Historical
Villa Zorayda Museum
Villa Zorayda Museum St Augustine
Villa Zorayda candlelight tour Villa Zorayda Museum

The museum’s collection includes a wide variety of artifacts from around the world, including furniture, ceramics, textiles and artworks from Africa, Asia and Europe. You can also take a closer look at Smith’s exhibitions featuring items from his personal collection. Priceless antique collections, materials from the casino era, Egyptian carpets dating back more than 2400 years, 17th century furniture, and valuable paintings can be seen on these floors.

Villa Zorayda Museum St Augustine Florida
Villa Zorayda Museum

Villa Zorayda Museum wedding

Villa Zorayda Museum is a beautiful and unique venue for weddings in St Augustine, Florida. The splendor of the structure will make your wedding day unforgettable. Villa Zorayda Museum can accommodate hundreds of guests for a seated dinner or a cocktail reception. The charming courtyard is the perfect setting for your ceremony or reception. With its dramatic arches and lush landscaping, the courtyard will create an elegant and romantic atmosphere for your special day.

How to get to Villa Zorayda Museum?

Home to an incredible collection of art and artifacts, the architecture of the museum is simply stunning. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, be sure to add Villa Zorayda Museum to your list of places to visit in St Augustine. Villa Zorayda Museum is located at 83 King Street in St Augustine, Florida. It is very close to Flagler College and Lightner Museum. There is an entrance fee and an audio guide tour is included in the price. Don’t forget to bring your own headphones to listen to the audio guide in English, Spanish and French.