Last Updated on October 10, 2022

Panoramic View Of Swimming Pool By Building Against Sky

Water has always been an essential part of humans’ life. During the early civilization, people created settlements close to water bodies because they knew water was needed to farm and help society grow. People have always had this unique and unbreakable connection with the water.

History of Swimming Pools

This natural attraction and the many benefits of water led to the creation of the first-ever public bath area. It has evolved over the years to become the swimming pools we know today. People love swimming and a pool even increases the value of a home. Read to know the history of swimming pools:

The Great Bath

The history of swimming pools started with the first bathing space that looked like a swimming pool was created more than 5000 years ago. It was called “The Great Bath” and was built in Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan. However, it was not used as a swimming pool. It was for ritual bathing and other religious ceremonies.

Caver Swimmers

It is believed that caver swimmers existed in 2500 B.C. This was confirmed by cave paintings discovered in 1993 in Egypt. The art showed figures that appeared to be swimming. It was the first-ever art showing swimming activities in the history of swimming pools and this activity.

The first recreational pool

Between 600 B.C. and 800 B.C., the ancient Greeks created recreational swimming pools. Ancient Greek flourished, which resulted in a lot of free money and time that enabled them to create leisure places such as Ancient swimming pools. The pools were established in Palaestrae or leisure centers as fitness and social activities. But these Ancient swimming pools were also used for ritual activities.

Ancient Roman Swimming Pools

The ancient Roman swimming pools were like an improvement of the Greek bathhouses. The Romans added some luxurious features, including heat between 100 B.C. and 300 B.C. The brains behind the first heated Ancient swimming pool were Gaius Maecenas, who was Augustus Caesar’s adviser. He used manual furnaces and thermal springs to warm the water.

Aquae Sulis

When the Romans conquered the British in 43 A.D., they introduced them to heated recreational swimming pools and ritual bathing. The Aquae Sulis was built in 75 A.D. and was a big religious pool that was used for worship, healing, bathing, and swimming.

Indoor swimming pool

The first indoor swimming pool to allow the public in the 1820s was St. George’s Baths. People were around to swim any time throughout the year.

Swimming becoming a sport

The first time swimming took place as a sport was in the 1830s. It gained popularity, and in 1904, ten people from Germany participated in the first Olympic Games as divers. In 1885, Mathew Webb swam the English Channel. He was recorded as he covered 40 miles in about 21 hours. He used a porpoise fat layer on his skin to prevent hypothermia. More than a decade later, in 1900, in the Paris Olympics, a 300 meters obstacle race was held. Participants swam in the Seine River, over boats, under vessels, and up poles.

Final thoughts

However, the first women’s sports swimming event in the Olympics was in Stockholm, in 1912. They participated in 100 meters freestyle and 400 meters relay races. The first winner was an Australian, Fanny Durack. Women from the U.S. were not able to participate because they were required to wear long skirts.

The Modern Swimming Pool

Recreational swimming became common in the 1900s. As time went by, a lot of development took place, and swimming pools got more features and water heating ability. They included improvements such as fiberglass and vinyl materials along with cleaning systems. In the 20th century, many homeowners created pools in their backyards.

Besides, science and technology helped to take swimming pools to another level. Things like filtration and chlorination were developed to keep the water clean and safe for people to use. Before these developments, people removed all water in a swimming pool and replaced it with some fresh water.


More advanced designs were invented for more beautiful swimming pools. Besides that, some of the modern materials used to construct the pools make the whole process faster than in the ancient Roman and ancient Greek eras. The 20th-century pools are affordable and change every outdoor home space into a magnificent water body that you can access at any time.


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