The “Cercle de l’Union”, as it now stands, was established in 1917 and is the fruit of a merger between three clubs which had been in existence for decades in Lyon. The oldest one actually opened its doors before the French Revolution and under the name of “Cercle du Divan”, was the rendezvous of the local aristocracy and upper classes of society. The other two were the “Jockey Club”, aptly named since it encouraged amongst its members involvement in horse breeding and horse racing, and “Cercle de Lyon” otherwise known as “Syllabus” which was essentially a literary club.
“Cercle de l’Union” is thus deeply rooted in the best of lyonnaise heritage and its five hundred resident or non-resident members are proud to uphold the values and traditions of its forebears. “Cercle de l’Union” is purely a social club. It provides members with opportunities to meet other members casually for recreation in peaceful and congenial surroundings.
It is not possible to apply for membership of the Cercle. Only an existing member may propose a person for membership, prior to his final approval by the club’s governing committee. As with clubs of similar standing in other parts of the world, acceptance is based on compatibility and not success in life or business, resulting in a harmonious mix between generations and professional backgrounds.
While the club is and always has been a single-sex club, it nevertheless welcomes ladies to a wide range of functions throughout the year.
Located at Lyon most prestigious and historical address, place Bellecour, the Cercle offers, everyday of the week, to its members and friends superlative cuisine in an elegant environment. Throughout the year it organizes cocktails parties and special events such as conferences with prestigious guest speakers, car rallies, bridge tournaments, golf and tennis competitions.
Over the years the Cercle has established reciprocal rights with various clubs in France and abroad and although it cannot offer accommodation it nevertheless warmly welcomes guests from all over the world.