The Long & Storied History of Swimming Pools

You know that feeling of going down the YouTube rabbit hole, watching one video after another, and not remembering how you got there? Inquiring about swimming pool history may be like that or perhaps you want to build a pool in your yard and are just curious. Or both.

This blog post will introduce you to the fascinating journey from the first to the present-day pools. Once you’re all caught up, you may feel inspired to start swimming pool construction in San Diego, CA, and we’ll help you with this endeavor as well. If you’re feeling especially inquisitive, you might also want to learn about pool terms and definitions.

What is the history of pools?

To learn about the history of swimming pools, we have to go all the way back to the 3rd millennium BC, and visit Ancient Rome and Greece until we arrive at the present day.what is the history of pools

First-ever swimming pool

The first documented pool in history was at the site of Mohenjo-Daro in modern-day Pakistan. It’s called the Great Bath. For the first pool, it wasn’t as large as you may expect—38.9 feet by 23 feet, while it was 7.9 feet deep.

The pool was made of brick and bitumen and had two staircases leading into it. You may be surprised to know that it didn’t have a drain, which could mean the pool water came from the rain or a nearby well.

When it comes to the purpose of the pool, it is speculated that it was used for religious purposes, most likely a kind of purification.

Ancient Greeks and Romans

If we went back to 800 BC to visit the Greeks, we’d find the first recreational swimming pools in their Palaestrae or leisure centers. But what the Romans did was take it one step further and add heat. The first person to build a heated pool was, in fact, Augustus Caesar’s advisor Gaius Maecenas. Thanks to his brilliant idea, the general public could bathe and take a swim in warm water, while Roman emperors would enjoy private pools.

Romans are also responsible for one of the first spas in the world. In 43 AD, they built Aquae Sulis heated by three thermal springs. It was used both as a place of worship and for recreational swimming.swimming pool construction in san diego

Europe and the U.S.

By skipping to the mid-19th century London, you’d stumble upon the first indoor pools. They even had diving boards. Slowly but surely, swimming became so popular that competitions were held and clubs were formed. Competitive swimming became even more widespread across the globe after the Olympic Games in 1896.

One of the first above-ground swimming pools can be found in the U.S., built by the Racquet Club of Philadelphia in 1907.

As for private swimming pools, they became popular after World War II and were a sign of wealth and status. Today, they can be found in homes all over the world. Private swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes and can be both indoor and outdoor.

Ready to swim in your own pool? Start your swimming pool construction in San Diego, CA

Have you grown tired of public pools or crowded beaches in San Diego? Then it’s high time to consider building a swimming pool in your backyard. With over two decades in the industry, So Cal Custom Pools is an award-winning company offering customized pools and spas for residents across San Diego County.

Give us a call and set up an on-site consultation, and our team of detail-oriented craftsmen will begin construction on the pool of your dreams.

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