Once there were hundreds of vibrant congregations made up of Jewish goldsmiths, copper and leather workers, commercial traders and diplomats. Today, many of the synagogues are empty, accessible only by appointment with a caretaker.
It didn't take long for me to realize I had no idea where I was walking. After a few blocks, the bustling lights of the central shopping district gave way to construction and inauspicious quiet. I figured I'd ask around.