The Cercle de l’Union, (Union Club) dates back to 1917.
It follows the Bellecour Club, which had been created in 1750 and dissolved in 1793.
It was located 9, rue du Plat. The Club numbered 107 members in 1789 and went through the revolution to which it paid a heavy tribute, loosing 70 of its members during the siege of Lyon.
It was dissolved on following a decree of the Revolutionnary government. It came back to life at the beginning of the 19th century. One of its last presidents was the Count de Leusse.
Union Club is in fact the result of the merger of 3 separate clubs which got together following the difficulties of the First World War in 1917.
- The first Club was the Cercle du Divan (the Sofa Club) which had been set up on December 30th 1841. It was the club of the aristocracy and of the upper gentry of Lyon. Its main purpose was to offer its members a place for friendly get-togethers. Its first president was the Marquis of Bellescize. It was then located quai de l’Arsenal in the city center; but in 1856 it was decided to move into a new building under construction 64 rue Imperiale. Later on, the Cercle du Divan was transferred to the present location of 27, Place Bellecour.
- The second club, The Jockey Club, had been set up in 1865 and its objective was to contribute by all means to the improvement of horse breeding, particularly by funding “Prizes” for horse races. Another objective was also to provide its members with a meeting place for “people of like condition”. It was first located quai de Retz, then transferred 33, rue du Puits Gaillot. Later, it moved to 19, rue Impériale, where the Credit Commercial de France is located at present. The Jockey Club created the new race course of the Grand Camp inaugurated in 1867.
- The third club was the Cercle de Lyon, sometimes called “the Syllabus”. This club had been created in April 18th 1868 and was located 27 place Bellecour and was composed of “Friends of Law and Order” according to documents of that time issued by the Prefecture du Rhone.