Behind this splendid fifteen century palace which is called Casa de María la Brava, there is one of those stories which we wouldn’t recommend telling a child at bedtime. Listen…
The nobles of that time were very proud people, and frequently there were terrible enmities among them, which ended up involving the whole city. The population was divided between the supporters of one and the other, and because of that, blood ran every night through the squares and alleys. That happened then in Salamanca and is not a coincidence that the Square where the house we are talking about is, it’s called Plaza de los Bandos, meaning the Sides Square.
The sides in question were Santo Tomé and San Benito, and things would reach to the point that the population was physically separated in two halves. Nobody dared to set foot in the area that used to be the border, the Corrillo Square, and for that reason, it was covered with grass.
Overall, in that terrific scenario, there was, day in and day out, an extensive collection of human miseries and atrocities, and one of them was going to leave María Rodríguez de Monroy in the people's memories. María was a noble widow who belonged to the side of Santo Tomé.
One bad day, María’s two sons got into a dispute with the Manzano brothers, from the opposing side, and they were killed. The Manzano brothers escaped to Portugal after the crime, and while the mother of those killed buried them, she plotted their revenge. In a short time, she gathered twenty men, got her hands in a great sword and went off following the trail of the guilty, whom she found on Portuguese lands. She had them beheaded, and it is said that then, she took their heads and brought them back to Salamanca to place them on the graves of her sons, Pedro and Luis.
The War of the Sides would still last one more decade, until 1476, when the religious man Juan de Sahagún managed to successfully mediate between the exalted ones and finally stopping that bath of blood. The leading families involved in the whole mess signed the pact of peace, and you can see the coat of arms of some of them, precisely, on the façade of the House of María the Brave.
So now, you know why they call this house like this…