Bridgette and I have settled easily into a home situated on the main square of this medieval village. Back sometime in the 1100's, the Count of Toulouse settled this place, probably because he realized a ton of pilgrims were making their way from all over Europe and stopping by this place. To this day, the pilgrims make the trek out to Santiago de Compostela in the northwest corner of Spain, where tradition says the apostle Saint James is buried, and thus the route is aptly named St. James' Way. Lauzerte is very close to Moissac on this map of the routes:
While I'm talking about St. James, you may know that his emblem was the scallop shell, symbols of which can be found around the city if you keep a keen eye open. Also, back in the day, hardcore pilgrims would wear the symbol on their journey. Today, on a French menu, one can often find noix de St. Jacques, but no, this is not a meal of Saint Jack's nuts, but actually tasty sea scallops — yum! (I should add that the Limousin in Versailles serves an amazing dish of these.)
Where was I? Yeah, so the Count, being clever, founded the city, which thrived as a hub on this pilgrimage, and the city flourished under the economic and religious influences thereof. And it being the medieval period, the city was walled in, fortified, and full of cobblestone and cute little timber and stone buildings all over the place. Over the centuries, the walls became less necessary for keeping the riffraff out, but the village has remained, atop a hill, surrounded by fields of sunflowers and vineyards. It is distinguished as one of Les plus beaux villages de France, the most beautiful villages of France.