The Ateneo Mercantil was born on March 23, 1879 to “attend to the cultural and training needs of its employees”. Its statutes were formalized in 1879. Citing the Second Marquis of Turia, who was President of the Entity: “At the Ateneo everything has been promoted, from the Trade Schools to the Bolsín de Corredores, from the Chamber of Commerce to university progress, from Language Schools to Trade Shows, from water transfer to conservation of The monumentality, of the South Solution for the defense of the city to the work of the Port. ” The Ateneo also gave birth to such disparate works as the Valencian Society of Trams, the first radio station in the city, the Madrid-Cuenca railway connection, the transfer of the Church of St. Catherine of Siena or the Valencian Association of Charity .
Well known is also the great company that the Ateneo carried out with the organization of the Regional Exhibition of 1909, motor of the industry and the Valencian trade of our century and of which there are traces as significant as the Hymn of the Exhibition, Commissioned by the Athenaeum for the occasion and today Official Community Anthem.
In 1960 the Hon. Valencia City Council granted the Athenaeum the Gold Medal of the city. In 1970 the Council of Ministers declared it, Entity of Public Utility.
The Ateneo Mercantil de Valencia continues to maintain its registered office in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento number 18, in Valencia.
It currently has about four thousand members, and continues its upward trend. It is presided over by Mrs. Carmen de Rosa Torner.
Throughout its history, the Ateneo has distinguished with the award of the title of Honorary Member to entities and personalities like: Jose Echegaray, Cirilo Amorós, Vicente Blasco Ibañez, newspaper Levante EMV, Maximiliano Thous, Emilio Attard, Felix Azzati etc …
The Athenaeum according to its bylaws is governed by the General Assembly of Members, which must meet regularly every year, in an ordinary session during the first quarter, to approve the Annual Accounts, the Draft Budget and the Report of the Board’s Activities Directive. The General Assembly of Members elects, freely and democratically, in open lists, the members of the Board of Directors.