It was founded in 1623 with the name of the Monastery of the Incarnation, of the religious order of St. Benedict, but from the beginning is called San Placido to be leaning against an old church, with the patronage of the saint was annexed parish San Martin until 1629. Its founders were Dona Teresa Valle de la Cerda and Alvarado, and her then fiance Don Jeronimo de Villanueva, Prothonotary Mayor of Aragon, and Secretary of State from 1630, and who left for that purpose one of his houses at San Roque . The nuns, of which he was the founder, entered the convent on May 12, 1624.
San Placido has been one of the most famous monasteries of Madrid's old regime, as it was home to many legends that splashed even to King Philip IV. Among the best known is the demonic possession of twenty nuns at the convent in 1628, among which was Teresa Valley. After several exorcisms, the Inquisition intervened condemning imprisonment in a convent to Don Francisco García Calderón, confessor of the convent, and who allegedly had relationships with some nuns, and also after Levi recant, he retired four years Dona Teresa in the convent of Santo Domingo de Toledo.
Another legend has to do with the clock of the convent, whose bells mimic death knell. Reportedly, the watch was a gift from Philip IV the convent after death, true or feigned, a nun named Margarita, with which the monarch had relations.
Moreover, the present church was begun in 1641 by the architect Fray Lorenzo de San Nicolás, Augustinian Recollect religious, from Madrid, who also finished work around 1661. Most notable is the interior decoration. It saves a recumbent Christ by Gregorio Hernandez, and also until his transfer to the Prado, was also the famous Christ of Velázquez. But what stood out was the chapel of the tomb which was decorated with murals of Claudio Coello, Francisco Rizi, Sierra and Juan Pérez Martínez Cabezuelo, which was demolished in 1908 under threat of ruin. In 1912 he began to build a new convent in addition to restoring the old church, works that are finished next year according to a design by architect Rafael Martínez Zapatero. In 1943 it was declared a National Monument.
Source: © 2003 Development, Consulting and Training Computing SA (DAYFISA) - Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM).