After the foundation of Lima in 1535, it took a while for a bourgeoisie to develop in the city. When it became a political force with the independence of Peru, it formed associations like the Club of the Union in 1868 to strengthen this slavery of Lima’s main forces. The name, which includes the word “Union”, could be an indication of this unity of the inhabitants of Lima towards Spanish claims not yet completely abandoned. Another possibility is that this name only expresses a sociable encounter of a certain layer. The members were composed of the political, economic and intellectual elite, and the reception of workers was avoided. This exclusivity was achieved mainly through the monthly membership fee, which was not available to ordinary workers and artisans. Fencing and other sports activities were practiced in the club. Since 1982, women have also been admitted to the club. Today, the Union Club is a non-profit association dedicated to its members in the cultural, social and sports fields.
The premises of the club
The Club of the Union has its headquarters since 1942 in the Palace of the Union, a building in the main square of Lima, the Plaza Mayor. Around the square are buildings of other long-standing institutions, such as the Government Palace, the Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace. This puts the club in the best company. The building is built in neocolonial style and is characterized by its decorated ocher facade. Part of this is the wooden balconies, which offer members a refuge from the wind and sun overlooking the Plaza Mayor and are reflected as a structural element of the club’s prosperity. Inside there are magnificently decorated rooms. Like the other historic buildings, the Palace is also a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Another much simpler club building is located outside of Lima in Santa Rose. It has a large area with sports fields, swimming pools and dining rooms where members can exercise and relax.
Tips for visitors
The club restaurant offers good restaurants with views of the Plaza Mayor. On the third floor is the “Gallery of Presidents”, where visitors can take a look at the history of the club.