5,000 years…that’s how long swimming pools have been in existence in different forms. There’s a reason why swimming pools have stood this test of time–it’s because of all the numerous benefits and purposes swimming pools serve. Pools provide memories, enjoyment, health and fitness, entertainment and can be used by any age, any gender and can even be helpful for people with disabilities and severe arthritis. Let’s take a look back at the last 5,000 years to see how they’ve been enjoyed throughout the millennia.

1. Mohenjo-Daro (Modern Day Pakistan)

Built by the Harrapans around 2600 B.C., what is thought to be the first swimming pool was a brick bath referred to as the Great Bath. Archeologists don’t know much about it but it’s believed to have been used for religious rituals.

2. Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks had “Palaestras” which were open areas used for recreation. In the 600 to 800 BC, the Greeks also had swimming pools in this area and swimming was more than religion–it was used for fun! According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Plato believed that swimming pools also taught young people to be responsible citizens.

3. Ancient Sinhalese

Ancient Sinhalese built pairs of pools called “Kuttam Pokuna” in the kingdom ofAnuradhapura, Sri Lanka around 400 BC. They were decorated with flights of steps, punkalas or pots of abundance, and scroll design.

4. Romans

In 305 A.D. the Romans build an incredible 83,0000 square meter pool. The pool was heated by giant fires below the pool and the warm water was pumped up into the pool. This pool was primarily used for bathing.

The collapse of the Roman empire meant the end of pool construction for a while, but pools were reintroduced in the 1800s.

4. Great Britain

In 1839, Oxford created the first major public swimming pool at Temple Cowley. The first modern day Olympic games started in 1896, and with swimming as a sport, swimming pools increased in popularity.

5. Hollywood

Swimming pools continued to grow during World War 1, and became popular in Hollywood. Films like Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) earned publicity for swimming pools.

6. Australia 1960s and 1970s

During the 60s and 70s, pools in Australia began to be chlorinated, stark contrast to the sewerage outlet problems of the beaches where some of the ocean baths were located, such as Coogee and Bondi.

In 1962, Perth hosted the Empire (Commonwealth) Games and Beatty Park Aquatic Centre was built as the venue for the swimming events. The newly-built centre incorporated every aspect of modern pool planning, including three pools, galleries for 5,500 spectators, a dramatic lighting system and a garden cafe.

7. Today

Today swimming pools continue to climb in popularity and provide many modern-day features. Leisure Pools stays on top of the latest trends, providing innovative designs and features like pool and spa combinations, tanning ledges, swim jet systems and water features.


You can join the legions of people throughout history who have been swimming pools to be incredibly beneficial and enjoyment. Contact Leisure Pools today (www.leisurepools.com.au) and Get Swimming in Quality and Style.