If you like places full of history and stories, Ledesma won't disappoint you. To begin with, it has a Roman past, and the bridge they call Puente Mocho, was once part of the Empire's roads.
Ledesma was no stranger to the Arab invasion, and the story of a young Muslim, who was sent by his father to study Latin with the Ledesma clerics, has come down to us from those times. It is said that the boy ended up converting to Christianity taking the name of Nicolás, and it is also said that when his father found out about it, became angry and had his throat slit alongside his unfaithful teachers.
With time and the Reconquest, came the repopulation of the place with old Christians. It was the twelfth century, and Fernando II of Leon ordered to fortify and secure the town with walls, so the grandiose castle you can see today has its origin in that warlike era. The same can be said of the three kilometres of wall that the village still has, although some parts could be Roman or even pre-Roman work. And that's because the history of Ledesma is not something that happened yesterday.
Walled and reinforced, the population gradually made its way through the following centuries and attracted important people with illustrious surnames and their own coat of arms. Those lineages built their mansions between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, between the old Gothic and the new renaissance. They even joined together in brotherhood to ensure that their ruling class privileges were not questioned by anyone. The Count and his family watched the bullfights and the religious events that took place in the Plaza Mayor from the balconies of the Beltrán de la Cueva palace.
However, before these noble houses and the magnificent building of the Town Hall were built, religious constructions had already been erected in Ledesma, of course. Above all, the splendid Church of Santa María la Mayor, which began in the Romanesque period and was modified in the Gothic and Renaissance periods. This is where, among others, the tomb of Sancho de Castilla el de la Paz, grandson of King Alfonso X the Wise, is located. Sancho was the lord of the town and when he died in 1312, all his dominions, including that of Ledesma, passed into the hands of the crown for one simple detail: He had no descendants.
Many temples flooded the Ledesma enclosure and gave it great religious importance. Still, it is the small Church of San Pedro and San Fernando, dating back to the nineteenth century, which today has the most peculiar history. In this church, some remains are kept which came from an older parish, and according to the legend belong to three of the shepherds who went to adore the newborn Jesus. They would have been brought here by a knight of Ledesma who fought as a crusader in the Holy Land. Today, a small ark holds their remains and displays the following inscription: "The glorious Ysacio, Josephus and James Shepherds of Bethlehem, who deserved to see and worship the former Christo God and man born in the crib". Perhaps it is because of things like this that the nearby spa of Ledesma has waters so well known for its health and well-being.