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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Augustine in St. Johns County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Villa Zorayda

(Zorayda Castle)

 
 
Villa Zorayda Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, April 8, 2017
1. Villa Zorayda Marker
Inscription.  The Villa Zorayda was constructed in 1883 as the winter home of Franklin Smith, a Boston millionaire who was so impressed by the magnificence of the Alhambra Palace which he saw during a visit to Granada, Spain, that he decided to build his house as an exact replica of one wing of the palace at one-tenth of the original size. The 12th century palace had been built by the Moors who ruled Spain for six centuries before being expelled in 1492. Smith, a gifted amateur architect, designed the house himself, using the innovative technique of constructing the building with poured concrete reinforced with crushed coquina stone. Many other materials used in finishing the residence were imported from Spain. In 1913, the building was bought by Abraham S. Mussallem. In 1922, it became a nightclub and gambling casino which closed in 1925 when Florida outlawed gambling. In 1936, it was opened as a tourist attraction called the Zorayda Castle, exhibiting items fitting the architectural theme of the building. The property was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
 
Erected 1997 by Zorayda Castle
Villa Zorayda Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, April 8, 2017
2. Villa Zorayda Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
and Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-373.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Architecture. A significant historical year for this entry is 1883.
 
Location. 29° 53.504′ N, 81° 18.916′ W. Marker is in St. Augustine, Florida, in St. Johns County. Marker is on King Street (Business U.S. 1) west of Granada Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 83 King Street, Saint Augustine FL 32084, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Villa Zorayda Today (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Villa Zorayda (a few steps from this marker); Xavier Lopez House (within shouting distance of this marker); Ponce de Leon Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry M. Flagler (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Don Pedro Menendez De Aviles (about 300 feet away); Alcazar Hotel / City Hall (about 400 feet away); Don Pedro Menéndez de Aviles (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Augustine.
 
Regarding Villa Zorayda. Villa Zorayda, after being closed for a number of years for renovations, is again open to the public as a museum.
 
Villa Zorayda Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, April 8, 2017
3. Villa Zorayda Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 13, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 324 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 13, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Jan. 22, 2022