A group of members of the Catalan bourgeoisie, united by their common love of horse riding, founded the Círculo Ecuestre over a hundred and sixty years ago. Mr Jaime Plá was its first chairman.
On 26 November 1856, the first headquarters were inaugurated on Calle San Pablo. Four years later, the headquarters moved to number 10 of the Rambla Santa Mónica. On 25 May 1907, it was moved again, this time to number 14 of the Plaza de Cataluña, in the main building of the Casa Girona (D. Ignacio). Finally, the purchase of two houses located on Paseo de Gracia was approved –one owned by Francisco C. Maristany y Garriga and the other owned by his cousins Soler and Rovirosa– to build the sumptuous building that was inaugurated on 26 October 1926 under the chairmanship of Mr Alberto Rusiñol i Prats. HM King Alfonso XIII attended the inauguration.
With the advent of the Civil War, the Círculo Ecuestre enters into a deep social and financial crisis, compounded by the seizure of its headquarters. After the war and with the money that could be obtained from the sale of the headquarters, the Círculo Ecuestre was finally installed on 12 June 1950 in its current location, on the Balmes-Diagonal corner. It was the former house of the Pérez-Samanillo family, a mansion built by the architect Juan José Hervás Arizmendi in 1910 and decorated by Joan Esteva. The Club was chaired from 1936 by Mr Santiago Güell y López, Barón de Güell.
It is in 1989, with the chairmanship of Mr Antonio Eyre Fernández followed in 1991 with that of Mr Carlos Güell de Sentmenat, when the great boost is given to the Círculo Ecuestre, expanding its headquarters to 6,000 m2 with a new building for residential use. Between December 2002 and November 2008, Mr Manuel Carreras Fisas was Chairman, and subsequently Mr Borja García-Nieto Portabella, Alfonso Maristany and Antonio Delgado. The creation of new participatory activities, coupled with excellent cuisine, laid the foundations for the unbeatable environment that members enjoy today.
The chairmanship is currently held by Enrique Lacalle. One of the main pillars of the project is to turn the Círculo Ecuestre into a modern club, open to Barcelona and the world, attractive to young entrepreneurs and a meeting point for dialogue and debate. And linked to more than 250 similar entities spread across the five continents.
The Círculo Ecuestre has always been a meeting point for Catalan society. All kinds of topics are discussed at its headquarters, and culture, business and leisure are mixed in its meeting rooms. Prominent people from all walks of economic, political, social and cultural life visit and stay at its headquarters.
It currently has 1500 members, 300 of which are under 40 years of age. It is the ideal place for reflection, dialogue, reading, comfort or social and business meetings. Meanwhile, the Círculo Ecuestre continues to grow in number of members and in the diversity of its activities. It is, without a doubt, the Barcelona Club.