In the Swim of Things: The Natatorium
By Joy Neighbors
The “great bath” can be traced back to 2600 BC and the Egyptians who had pools built for relaxing in. The ancient Greeks and Romans also enjoyed soaking in man-made pools; so much so, their children were taught to swim as part of their school education. Pools were a sign of status and were used not only for swimming and bathing, but also for social and health-related reasons. A heated pool built in First Century BC for Gaius Maecenas (one of the first patrons of the arts) supposedly featured waterfalls, a garden, villas, terraces and a library.
In the early 19th century, competitive swimming was introduced in Britain and indoor pools became popular. The modern Olympics began in 1896 and swimming races were among the events held. That’s when an interest in swimming pools began to develop in the U.S.
|West Baden Springs Hotel|
|Natatorium, circa 2016|
Lee Sinclair would be proud of this stunning facility that still makes its home in what was once the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”