SPACES

 “The Inquisidor” 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.

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.

The Patio

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.

The Ritual Bath “Mikveh”

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.

Sinagogal Room

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 Cellars and Ovens

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.