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“Splendid!”

Villa Zorayda Museum
Ranked #38 of 190 things to do in St. Augustine
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We had the good fortune to visit during the Candlelight Tour. The guides presented incredibly detailed information about the artifacts in the home. It was simply beautiful and fascinating.

Thank kmr1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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251 - 255 of 330 reviews

Reviewed December 30, 2013 via mobile

I have to admit I was a bit unsure about spending the money to tour this place, but a groupon two for one deal convinced me to give it a try. Very glad we visited. Both the architecture and the belongings were fascinating. Great place to spend an hour.

Thank JamieInVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

This was my favorite of all of the attractions we saw in St. Augustine. We took the evening candlelight tour. These are done only at Christmastime, and it featured a spectacular surprise (which I won't spoil for others by saying what it is here), but it truly made the tour unforgettable. The candlelight tours apparently sell out quickly, so be sure to get a reservation. If you go during the rest of the year, an audio tour is available.

Thank Barbara G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

Villa Zorayda is just one of those super random site you pass and can't help but check it out. I'm certainly glad I did. Apparently built by some mega rich dude, it's modeled after the Moorish designed Alhambra of Granada, Spain. Although I was slightly more impressed with the real Alhambra, Villa Zorayda is definitely worth the visiting and taking the time to listen to the entire audio tour. It takes about an hour but informs you of all the unique pieces of art and history of the City and its development. A can't be missed for history geeks and general curious like myself.

1  Thank Stephen F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2013

Being a builder, I wanted to see the architecture. This was my attraction choice for the weekend with my wife and parents. Architecture went out the window for me with the somewhat overwhelming collection of furnishings. Not for children! All of us continually commented on the collections for the remaining of our stay together in St Augustine. Amazing place! Self guided tour was great as was the staff. Again, it is not for children.

Thank pat m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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