Swimming Pools – A Short History In Time
Many of us may think of swimming pools as being a relatively modern invention, but far from it as the first one was documented as being built in the 3rd Century BC, indeed it is known that the early Romans used swimming pools to bathe in extensively.
Indeed they were used by the Romans for water sport games, as well as general exercise. The Romans are also believed to be the first people to have had heated swimming pools. Early pools were made with close fitting stone blocks and sealed with tar to make them waterproof.
Of note is that the word “Piscine or Piscina” which is still often used throughout Europe when referring to a swimming pool, actually gets its definition from referring to the pools that Romans had that also had fish swimming in them as well!
Some of the Worlds first indoor pools were built at the height of the British Empire in the early 1830’s in Britain.
Their popularity soared with the advent of the revival of the Olympics, and indeed to this day an Olympic size pool is in general the largest standard pool built Worldwide. However there have been some much larger pools built such as the huge Lidos in Wales, that used to have up to 8,000 people visit them on a Bank Holiday in Summer, yet many are now sadly defunct, although there are several that are undergoing a revival with funds being raised to restore these Lidos back to their heyday.
Although the large swimming Lidos in Wales are dwarfed by the Worlds largest pool in Chile at just over 1,000 metres in length, and over 20 acres in size!
Whilst commonplace on cruise liners nowadays the first pool to be installed was upon the liner the “Adriatic” as early as 1907.
Swimming pools are also now used for a variety of other uses such as teaching people to learn to scuba dive in, as well as being used in theme parks.
Indeed large scale pools have now become predominant in hot areas such as Florida where a wealth of water theme parks can be found featuring swimming pools with huge water slides, and even man made wave machines, making waves in large pools big enough to surf on. These pools are even designed to look like real beaches. It does make you wonder what the original Romans would think of such swimming pools if they could see them today.