La Sinagoga del Agua, la memoria de Sefarad

Sinagoga del Agua

Sinagoga del Agua. Un lugar mágico, un viaje en el tiempo. El reencuentro con Sefarad en Úbeda.

Where we are

Visit Synagogue




Water Synagogue is a private space, can only be visited in small groups and accompanied by an interpreter authorized heritage.

Is open every day, mornings and evenings. See timetable.

Prices of visits during 2016.


– 4.50 € / pax INDIVIDUAL ADULT

– 3,50 € / pax INDIVIDUAL child (under 12 years)

– 3,50 € / pax GROUPS (over 15 people)

The visits have a duration of approximately 30 minutes.

Water Synagogue guided tour only in Castilian.

We have brochures in English, French, German and Italian, Portuguese, Polish, and Braille (Castilian)

Advance booking visit outside of the designated times.

Advance booking can be made guided tours in other languages.

Tours are conducted approximately every 45 minutes so punctual days of “high season” the frequency of these intensifies.

Because some of the places to visit are reduced, we recommend large groups book their visit in advance.


SINAGOGA DEL AGUA C/ Roque Rojas/Esquina Las Parras 23400 ÚBEDA (Jaén)


For information and reservations, please contact to:

ARTIFICIS C/Baja de El Salvador, 2 ÚBEDA (Jaén)

Tel.: 953 758 150


The synagogue of water


The Synagogue of Water was discovered by the Entrepreneur Fernando Crespo during building works carried out in several real estate properties located in the heart of the historic centre of Ubeda. The original idea of the project was to transform the old property into apartments, shops and car parks. After the discovery of various elements such as the arches of the Synagogue, The Women’s Gallery and the Ritual Bath (Mikveh), the initial project was abandoned. The recovery of this place began in 2007 and from 27 February, 2010 it has been open to the public. Based on the existing research, we can speak of a synagogue before the fourteenth century.


“The Inquisitor” Room

The name of this first room is due to the close resemblance that this building has to a house which is historically is known as “The House of the Inquisitor” and in its facade, preserves the coat of arms of the Holy Office. (Calle Las Parras No. 8). It is possible that the intention of the representative of the Inquisition in the town (perhaps a converted Jew) was to preserve and protect this place instead of destroying it.
This room – together with the courtyard, the cellar and the ovens – corresponds with the possible house of the rabbi in the Middle Ages.


The arcaded courtyard divides the main sections of the entrance to the Synagogue. The most representative pieces of this room are two of the complete and original columns that appear within it. These are well-defined columns with patterns of palm leaves or “the tree of life” with its seven branches symbolising the Jewish Menorah by the capitals.
The other important element of the patio is the entrance to the Synagogue. It is called Puerta del Alma. The columns, steps and several of the segments forming the arch are original. Other parts are replicas because some of the originals have been found embedded in various walls dividing the different rooms (see the voussoir at the reception). Above „La Puerta del Alma” is a stone representing the Star of David.


This is a large room split into three naves separated by original pointed arches, which remained embedded and hidden in the walls of houses. The spaces have a structure of medieval Spanish synagogues – small rooms below street level with austere building materials. Synagogues are not only fundamental meeting places designed for prayer and worship but also for meetings and decision-making of the Jewish community as well as studying, reading and judgements -always led by the rabbi and the elders of the community.
Noteworthy are the four original columns above the left arcade that form an important part of the synagogue, „The Women’s Gallery” – the place that is occupied by women during ceremonies and rituals. This place is hidden behind shutters.
Other important elements of the room are the authentic wooden ceiling with paintings. There are seven wells in total which helps us to understand how important the presence of underground water is when building synagogues. Two of them still contain water and have their original rim.

The Women’s Gallery

Noteworthy are the four original columns above the left arcade that form an important part of the synagogue, „The Women’s Gallery” – the place that is occupied by women during ceremonies and rituals. This place is hidden behind shutters.


This can be accessed via a narrow passageway that has been excavated into rock. Hidden in what was thought to be an old cellar, between debris, appears to be a purification ritual bath or Mikveh. For all religions, water is a fundamental symbol of spiritual purification. Muslims, Jews and Christians purify themselves before entering temples and shrines. In the case of the Jewish community, men used to go to the purification bath on Fridays and before the important festivities. Women would go before marriage, after childbirth and after finishing menstruation. The baths were shared and the whole body would be submerged in the purifying water of the Mikveh. The bath is covered by a modest pointed vault of fine masonry. In the centre there is a hole with steps dug out from the rock where the water springs naturally and continuously. Both conditions are essential in understanding its meaning, significance and purpose.


This is one of the rooms that formed a part of the possible house of the rabbi. It contains a lowered barrel vault and floor and authentic half-buried jars. They were used to store olive oil and kosher wine as well as various foods suitable for the Jewish religion.

Next to the cellar is a space excavated into the rock with a flat roof which, judging by its condition and by the excavated hol es, seems to be a kitchen and ovens used to make unleavened bread and to keep the food warm for Shabbat.


Aboda Zarah

This is the name of a treaty in the Talmud. This piece of work is a replica published in 1957. The original is at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. It was completed in Ubeda at the end of 1290 by Shelomo ben Shaul ben-Albagli.

Limpieza de sangre

Era un instrumento jurídico, aprobado a veces por la Santa Sede y otras por los reyes, por el que durante los siglos XV al XIX se excluía de muchos territorios en España a los descendientes de judíos y penitenciados de la Inquisición, por creerles infames y no firmes en la fé. Para comprobar la limpieza de fé de una persona, el Cabildo nombraba un Comisario encargado de solicitar una copia de la partida bautismal para certificar la edad del pretendiente y sus familiares. Seguidamente, y tras oír a varios testigos, cuyas declaraciones no solían remitirse más que a la voz pública o fama, se demostraba que se tenia “sangre limpia”, es decir, que sus antepasados siempre fueron católicos. El Estatuto de la izquierda está fechado en 1570 en Úbeda por el Comisario del Santo Oficio Fernando Ortega, Capellan Mayor de la Sacra Capilla del Salvador.


This consists of a candelabra with seven arms and is one of the oldest symbols of Judaism. This candelabra or Menorah was made in a desert, as is told in the text of the Torah. lt was in the tabernacle but later taken to the sanctuary of Shiloh and then moved to the Temple of Jerusalem, built by King Solomon. Menorah is attributed to different symbols, one being the seven days of creation. In the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), it symbolises the tree of life. lt is forbidden to make an exact replica of the one that used to be in the Temple of Jerusalem.


The Scroll of Esther and gragger – The feast of Purim is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated annually on the 14th of the Jewish month 0fAdar (February-March) in order to commemorate the miracle recounted in the Book of Esther. During this month, Jews were saved from extermination under the rule of the Persian King Ahasuerus, identified by some historians as Xerxes I, around 450 B.C.

In spite of the fact that Purim is considered one of the happiest days in the Jewish calendar, Jews are required to fast and pray the day before, in memory of the Persian Jews who fasted to save themselves from an imminent conflict, which could have led to their extermination by Haman and his followers in the army of the Persian Empire.

During Purim they read the Megillah Scroll /“The Book of Esther.” This reading is performed at high speed and the listeners must make noise with graggers or other objects every time the name of Hamanis is read, so as not to hear the name. This makes it possible for children to be involved in the reading.


The Torah is the most sacred of the holy writ. Its principles set the standards of life in Jewish communities and without these principles, it would be impossible for the people of Israel to have survived for so many years. The 5 books of the Torah contain the story – from the creation of the world to the death of Moses.

The ancient form of the Torah – a roll of leather strips supported by two axes (called “soul” ,,alma“) – which can be rotated in order to be read – are kept in the synagogue. The Torah is made manually and both the preparation of the skin, as well as its writing are created in line with an established set of guidelines that specify, for example, how much distance should be between each line, word and letter. The Klaf, or pieces of skin, are sewn with the veins of kosher animals.

Pointer (IAD)

Since it is forbidden to touch the Torah, a stick is used in orderto read it. On one end is a hand with an index finger which points to the text being read. It can be made of wood, silver or other materials.


The sheath of the Torah is usually made of velvet or satin and embroidered with ornamental Jewish motives or verses.


This is a richly decorated veil or curtain covering the hole or niche where the holy books known as Aron Kodesh (Holy Ark) are stored.

The Amulet Kabbalah

The Kabbalah (Jewish Qabbalah, ‘to receive’) is a discipline and school of Jewish esoteric thinking. lt uses various methods, more or less arbitrarily, to analyse hidden meanings of the Torah (the holy Jewish text, which Christians call the Pentateuch, and which represents the first five books of the Christian Bible).


Congreso Internacional de Matemáticos (Destacamos el Rector de la Universidad de Tel Aviv Daniel Leviatán Doctor Honoris Cause de la Universidad de Jaén)

Congreso Internacional de Música de Cine (Destacamos Michael Giacchino, premio Oscar y Globo de Oro 2011)

Rabino de la MJONY (Moroccan Jewish Organisation of New York) y arquitecto Jacob Bensabbat

Eduardo Kofmann (director de TEATRO POR LA PAZ ) con Fernando Crespo y
Manuela García Tamargo (presidenta de Tarbut Sefarad Úbeda

Grupo desde Suecia, acompañador por el Emerito Rabino MORTON NARROWE

Prof. Mario Saban (Presidente Nacional de TARBUT SEFARAD) y Manuela Garcia Tamargo (Presidenta de TARBUT SEFARAD de Úbeda)

Rabino Yechiel Bayles y Familia desde Gibraltar

Colegio Judío de Gibraltar

Doctor Shlomo Rutemberg

Los Ex ministros Sr. Rodolfo Martín Villa
y Sr. José Lladró

Grupo Universidad Granada

Grupo Arqueología Taller Empleo Úbeda

Univ. Innsbruck (Austria) con el Dr. Markus Neuwirth

Algunos participantes y miembros de comité organizador del Congreso de Educación Física.

Técnicos franceses de programas Europeos (Francia, Senegal, España…)

La periodista danesa Charlotte Roerth y José Muñoz “Muros”

Grupo del Tour Operador Martin Randall guiados por Gijs Van Hensbergen

Grupo desde Israel

Grupo de la empresa americana EXPERIENCE PLUS

Don Vicente Barberán, la catedrática Dª Adela Tarifa y amigos

Universidad de Granada (Grupo de estudiantes ERASMUS)

La catedrática Dª Adela Tarifa con su esposo y el Doctor Dexeus y Sra.

Jornadas de puertas abiertas para profesorado

Jornadas de puertas abierta para profesorado

Catedrático de Historia del Arte de la Univ. de Jaén D. Pedro Galera y alumnos

Stephanie y Robin – Editores de la Guía Lonely Planet

Sra. Adelaida García (Dra. del Archivo Histórico de la Diputación de Jaén) y la catedrática Dª Adela Tarifa

Grupo de Tecnicos del Programa RE.AL.ES. (España, Chile, Argentina, ..)

Ruben Cedeño y amigos

Miki y Mira Dvir-Uri y Aliza Avigdori

Congreso Internacional de Biología (UNIA)

Cristina Menéndez (Revista Más Allá)

Sres. Saralie y Tom HERZ desde San Francisco

Los Sres. José Antonio Cantón García (Critico musical en “El Mundo”) y José García Román (Músico y Académico)

Grupo desde Inglaterra con el Sr. Samuel del Coso Román (presidente de Tarbut Sefarad de Toledo y Shalom Sefard)

Visita de los Sres. D. Jaume Segura (Secretario general de la Comisión Nacional Española de cooperación con la UNESCO) y D. Álvaro Albacete (Embajador en Misión Especial para las relaciones con las comunidades y organizaciones judías). Sr. Fernando Crespo en el centro.

Sr. Daniel Kutner, Embajador de Israel en España.

El historiador e hispanista Gijs Van Hensbergen

El director y guionista Montxo Armendariz

El Rejoneador y Ganadero, Rafael Peralta.

Grupo multinacional Diverbo “pueblo español”

Desde Taiwan

“Que mil años no son nada” (Convivencia de las tres culturas) Proyecto “Patrimonio de la Humanidad”
2º de ESO del Instituto de Los Cerros de Úbeda

Congreso Internacional de Matemáticos.

Presentación del trabajo de Fin de Grado en la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas de la Universidad de Jaén por MARÍA DEL MAR ROMÁN MARTÍNEZ

Desde Polonia

Desde Suecia con el Emérito Rabino Morton Narrowe

Los suecos de la Costa del Sol

Libro de visitas

Solemos decir que la mayor satisfacción es la que los visitantes nos expresan de forma libre en el libro de visitas.
Como ejemplo al margen de los libros de la Sinagoga del Agua, sirvan los comentarios de los visitantes en Trip Advisor. En este mismo sentido hay que resaltar que nos sitúa en el lugar más alto entre las “cosas que hacer en Úbeda” en cuanto a número de comentarios y nivel de satisfacción / recomendación por parte de sus usuarios.

Se pueden ver en:


“Lugar mágico”, “Muy interesante”, “Pequeña joya”, “Interesante visita”, “Nos gustó mucho”, “Una auténtica sorpresa positiva. Personal muy amable, sabiendo de lo que hablaban.”, “Sinagoga oculta”, “Peculiar espacio”, “Fantástico hallazgo”, “Volver atrás en el tiempo”, “Visita obligada en Úbeda”, “Historia y misterio”, “Sorpresa arquitectónica judía”, “Cortita pero intensa”, “Extraña”, “Visita corta pero interesante”, “Sorprendente en pleno siglo XXI”, “La magia de un descubrimiento.”, “Pequeño y olvidado monumento”, “Está muy bien restaurada”, “Sinagoga mágica”, “Una maravilla escondida durante años”, “Una de las sinagogas más completas que se conservan de la época”, “Todo un descubrimiento”, “Increíble; una joya escondida”, “Un lugar diferente en una ciudad con encanto.”, “Lugar muy curioso”, “Muy muy interesante”, “Boquiabiertos.”, “Sinagoga escondida”, “Muy bonito”, “Una maravilla desenterrada”, “Lugar mágico”, “Muy interesante visita”, “Espacio mágico totalmente recomendable”, “Una agradable sorpresa”, “No permiten fotos”, “Muy poco profesionales”, “Merece la pena”, “Sinagoga con su sala de baño.”, “Muy interesante y explicación entretenida”, “La visita más recomendada de la ciudad”, “Regreso a Sefarad”, “De lo mejor de Úbeda”, “Visita obligada”, “Digna de ver.”, “Interesante punto de vista”, “Interesante y muy distinto a lo acostumbrado”, “Emoción y admiración por este reciente descubrimiento histórico.”, “Sorprendente el espacio con agua”, “No te lo puedes perder”, “Original y un pedazo de historia”, “ENTRA SIN DUDA”, “Original y desconocida”, “Visita obligada, es increíble.”, “Curiosa composición de una Sinagoga”, ”Única sinagoga de la provincia en tan buen estado”, “Pequeña pero muy completa”, “Muy bonita, curiosa y bien guiada.”, “Bello lugar escondido en el centro de la ciudad”, “Es algo que merece la pena pagar por verlo”, “Obligado entrar con guía”, “Montaje…? En todo caso, negocio rentable pero culturalmente y arqueológicamente muy decepcionante.”, “Sobrepasó las expectativas”, “Tan sólo un decorado”, “¿Pero realmente hay sinagoga?”, “La visita depende mucho del guía que te lo enseñe”, “Una experiencia única”, “Una visita al pasado”, “Redescubriendo nuestro pasado”, “No tuvimos oportunidad”, “Una experiencia increíble.”, “España sigue sorprendiéndome….”, “Una sorpresa muy recomendable”,
“Una grata sorpresa”, “Si sobra tiempo vale”, “Una de esas sorpresas que adornan un viaje”, “Una historia sorprendente bien contada”, “Curioso lugar”, “Experiencia conmovedora”, “Bonito lugar, no muy bien anunciada”, “Increíble, pero no presentarse correctamente”, “Excelente pero limitado inglés”, “Excelente, pero más información en inglés lo hace aún mejor”, “Extraordinario y de visita obligada”, “Una experiencia verdaderamente espiritual”, “No es un sitio arqueológico”, …


“Unbelievable Story”, “Fascinating”, “A Must See” , “Among our most memorable experiences during 19 days in Spain”, “Worthwhile to visit and take the tour”, “Nice place, not well advertised”, “Fascinating place!”, “A travel over the time”, “A hidden place”, “Stunningly restored building – Must see monument”, “Historical Jewish Synagogue Restoration”, “A must site”, “Fascinating place to tour”, “Unexpected find”, “Stunning”, “A Must in Northern Andalusia”, “One of the few remains of Jewish in Spain”, “Fascinating tour of a recently discovered old Synagogue and Rabbi’s house”, “Amazing cultural hidden gem in Ubeda”, “A Must Visit in Ubeda”, “unique and unbelievable story”, “Excelente”, “The one stop you should make in ubeda!”, “Amazing but not presenting it correctly”, “amazing discovery”, “Must visit”, “Very Interesting”, “Excellent, but more info in English would make it even better”, “Like the Tardis – more inside than you could ever imagine”, “Extraordinary and a must to visit”, “What an amazing place”, “Miraculous”, “A truly spiritual experience”, “Amazing”, “No English.”, “Hidden gem”, “A must to visit”, “Amazing”, “Found Heritage”, “Should not be missed”, “Extraordinary Place”, “Not an Archeological Site”, “Sinagogue in Ubeda”, “Sinagoga”, “A unique experience”, “Fascinating and unexpected”, “A Memorable Experience”, “Jewish soul in Spain”, ….


“Visite guidée d’une synagogue inattendue” 5 5 étoiles, “a voir”, “A voir absolument”, “a visiter”, “Visite intéressante.”, “Incontournable ! ”