The capital of the black Perigord, Sarlat, is a medieval town and Episcopal seat for several centuries. It is a major tourist site in France, situated 5 hours from Paris, 1 hour from the Marian sanctuary of Rocamadour and 3 ½ hours from Lourdes. Sarlat has incredible charm with its maze of picturesque small streets and alleys, its small shaded squares, private town homes, the cathedral of Saint Sacerdos and the bishop’s palace. On the Square of Liberty (place de la Liberté) with its cafés and terraces, are sold the gastronomic specialties of the region: foie gras, truffles, figs and walnuts. To visit Sarlat is to take a plunge into history while experiencing the charm of the village which has preserved its medieval treasures in a unique and exceptional way. Sarlat is a medieval town that developed around its great Carolingian Benedictine abbey. The monastic domain was at its height in the 13th century. The Carolingian abbey of Sarlat was placed under the protection of the Emperor Charles the Fat in 886 and then in 1153 under the direct protection of the Holy-See in Rome. In 1318 the abbey was the new Episcopal seat created by Pope John XXII. The abbey church became the cathedral of the diocese of Sarlat. The bishops, replacing the abbots, began to change the architecture and it was completed only at the end of the 17th century. Starting in the 14th century, the bishop and consuls shared power up to the French Revolution. With the disappearance of the diocese at the Revolution Sarlat fell from pre-eminence. It became a sleepy town for the next 150 years only to awaken in the last 40 years. This is an unavoidable stop!