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St. Augustine, Florida: World's Oldest Rug: Villa Zorayda Museum

Exotic-looking building. Inside, the rug is made out of cat hair. And it's cursed!

Villa Zorayda Museum

83 King St., St. Augustine, FL
Villa Zorayda Museum, King St. between US Hwy 1 and Hwy 1A, across from Flagler College.
M-Sa 10 am-5 pm (last tour 4:30 pm), Su 11 am - 4 pm. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About World's Oldest Rug: Villa Zorayda Museum

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World's Oldest Rug: Villa Zorayda Museum

Interior photos are now allowed except in the Egyptian Room (where the cursed rug is displayed.)

[Jody High, 04/21/2022]

Zorayda Castle Museum.

Zorayda Castle Museum

Parking is hard to find around the Zorayda Castle Museum. The museum is free on Sundays.

[bordeauxbarb, 03/12/2022]

Zorayda, an early example of concrete construction, was built by an eccentric Florida millionaire over 100 years ago. It opened as a museum in the 1930s.

Villa Zorayda.

Villa Zorayda

Villa Zorayda reopened fairly recently, and it is just as incredible as I had hoped! I'd read about the mummified princess' foot in THE NEW ROADSIDE AMERICA, so that was the first thing I inquired about. Sure enough, it's still there, as is the allegedly cursed cat-hair rug which contained said foot!

The other items on display are wonderful as well, ranging from antique art to memorabilia from the Villa's days as a speakeasy and restaurant. Unfortunately photos are not allowed. I live in Jacksonville and have made four trips to Villa Zorayda in the past year. Each visit was with different company, and every time they enjoyed it immensely (as did I!).

[Prof. A, 01/17/2010]
World's Oldest Rug

Inside the Villa Zorayda Museum, the first cement building in St. Augustine, is the world's oldest rug. It is over 2,400 years old and depicts a large cat; it's also made from the fur of cats that wandered the Nile Valley in ancient Egypt, some of which could be four feet in length! The rug is supposedly cursed so that anyone who sets foot upon the sacred image will die, and so the museum wisely keeps it hanging on the wall.

The museum is beautiful, but no photographs are allowed.

[Amy Y., 03/31/2009]

Cursed, did you say?

Nearby Offbeat Places

Lightner MuseumLightner Museum, St. Augustine, FL - < 1 mi.
Thwarted Footsteps of Andrew YoungThwarted Footsteps of Andrew Young, St. Augustine, FL - < 1 mi.
Pointing Ponce de LeonPointing Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, FL - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Treaty Oak, Jacksonville, FL - 36 mi.

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