Círculo Eça de Queiroz

Intellectual and Social Fellowship

Círculo Eça de Queiroz is an intellectual and social Fellowship, founded in 1940 by António Ferro, while the name of the patron was suggested by António Lopes Ribeiro, with the aim of promoting conviviality among its members and guests, as well as the taste in literature and arts, through conferences, exhibitions and concerts.

Since its foundation, and in spite of several difficulties, the Círculo has sought to contribute to the elevation of the intellectual and social level of Portuguese life.

Great figures of Portuguese and foreign culture have visited the Círculo, both as guests or speakers. Its first member of honour was Maurice Maeterlink, Nobel Prize for Literature. T. S. Eliot, another Nobel Prize for Literature, Graham Greene and Gabriel Marcel also visited our Club. In 1942, Gregorio Marañon delivered a Conference in this Club, which was printed afterwards. As regards Brazilian writers, we recall, among others, Gustavo Barroso, Plínio Salgado, Luís Viana Filho, Herberto Sales, Josué Montello and Antonio Carlos Villaça. These last three writers recorded their passage through the Círculo in memorial books. Ortega y Gasset and Eugenio Montes also gave their contribution to the cultural prestige of Círculo.

In January 1946, the Círculo promoted a cycle of conferences celebrating the centenary of Eça de Queiroz.

In the 1980’s, the Board committed itself to reintegrating Círculo Eça de Queiroz in the spirit of its founder, through the cultural animation of the "Serões Queirosianos” (Queirosianos Evenings), and, among the more than 50 lectures given at that time, we highlight the cycle dedicated to the "Vencidos da Vida” (Defeated of Life), collected into a book in 1989.

In 1994, we had, as speakers, Prof. Fraga Iribarne, President of the Government of Galicia, and Prof. Miguel Reale, President of the Brazilian Academy of Philosophy.

In the 1990’s, the "weekly teas" were another initiative of a cultural nature, which were followed by debates on the most diverse subjects.

For some time, Círculo Eça de Queiroz counted on the collaboration of the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, with the performance of a monthly recital.

Círculo Eça de Queiroz has, throughout its existence of more than 70 years, maintained reciprocal agreements with the most diverse public and private entities, namely various similar clubs throughout Europe and Brazil that have preferential relations with the Círculo, notably in the exchange of services provided to its respective member. The list includes “Le Cercle de l’Union Interalliée” (Paris); the “Savile Club”, the “National Liberal Club”, the “City University Club”, the “Eccentric Club” and the “St. James's Hotel and Club”, all in London; “The Clifton Club” (Bristol); the “Societá del Giardino” (Milan); the Real Gran Peña (Madrid); the “Sociedad Bilbaina” (Navarra); the “Cercle de Lorraine” (Brussels); the “Grêmio Luso-Brasileiro” (São Paulo) and The Royal Canadian Military Institute, Toronto – Canada.

Círculo Eça de Queiroz lives from the members’ dues and from the revenue resulting from some activities. Occasional financial support was given by the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Secretariat of State for Culture.

This Association intends to continue the guidance and objectives that have guided it up to the present time, through conferences, concerts and exhibitions, in accordance with the annually programmed topics.

Círculo Eça de Queiroz has a number of members restricted to 202 in its Category A. This was the number of an imaginary mansion in the Champs Elisées where one of the fictional characters of the Portuguese writer Eça de Queiroz, Jacinto, lived in Paris, in the XIX century. Throughout time, the Club decided to admit a small number of members above 202, to whom all membership rights are accorded, with the exception of the right to vote. These extra members form a waiting list for full membership status in Category A.

Through the cultural climate that we have been creating in the historic area of Chiado, together with the artistic heritage of the Club’s premises, the Status of Public Service, awarded to this Association in 2005, is well justified.

 Círculo Eça de Queiroz