The Almshouse

The remains of a world in which there were enough Jews to require such a splendid site of charity. Faced with this gorgeous ruin, I find myself wondering what the difference is for me between this monument to lost time and, say, the beautiful remnants of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire. It feels like a different kind of melancholy, since a thread of identification, however tenuous, however willed by my imagination, connects me to the history of this place.

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