With a new year come new resolutions. 2014 for me will be a year of mostly travelling, but i also plan on being a bit more sportive, preferably by swimming. Let’s get a round up of Antwerp’s best indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Olympic Pool Wezenberg
The Wezenberg Olympic Pool was erected in 1920 when Antwerp hosted the Summer Olympics. Wezenberg is a 50 meter eight-lane swimming pool with seating for 800 spectators.
Olympic Pool Wezenberg, Desguinlei 17-19, 2018 Antwerpen
Veldstraat Art Deco Swimming Pool
Antwerp’s oldest pool is a true gem. Built in 1933 in complete art deco style, it is undoubtedly one of Belgium’s most gorgeous pools. Note: the Veldstraat swimming pool also houses a great spa (photos: Jef Claes).
Veldstraat 83, 2060 Antwerpen
Outdoor fun at Badboot
Since 2012 a giant boat-construction houses an outdoor pool right on the river Scheldt. The construction itself is about 120m long. It feels like swimming in the Scheldt itself. Since this outdoor pool is such a great succes, it is advised to make reservations. In wintertime the pool is traded for a giant iceskating slope (photos: City of Antwerp).
Kattendijkdok-Oostkaai, 2000 Antwerp
Antwerp’s Boekenberg park is a completely natural, eco-friendly swimming pool that used to be a pond. Contrary to most pools, it has nothing of their usual artificialness and beautifully blends in with the green surroundings (Photos: Jef Claes).
Boekenberg park, Van Baurscheitlaan – 2100 Deurne-Antwerp
Inspired by The Word Magazine.
Swimming is a great thing. For body and soul. Studies have shown swimming keeps you biologically younger. When I’m on my way to Gordon Pool, my back already thanks me. I always take a fresh juice with me and take a moment before I enter the water. Sipping on my banana or acaï juice, I look up to the blue skies, the palm trees; I look around to the sea and the Marina and I’m grateful each time again. Then I jump in and start my 1,5km crawl swim. The repetition of the movement under water brings you in some sort of trance. I always get the best thinking done there and come out with my most creative ideas. Gordon’s olympic pool water is set at a fixed temperature of 24° and is made of salty groundwater extracted from wells at a depth of about 150 meters which is extra rich in minerals.
Gordon Pool was originally established in 1956 and designed for ‘convenient swimming by the sea, to enjoy the benefits of the beach, without suffering the disadvantages from waves and sand.’ In those years, Gordon Pool was the ultimate gathering point, all week, everyday, from sunrise till sunset. No need to wonder why: from the salt and the crystal clear water with its minerals, to the gorgeous scenery, Gordon swimming pool made no difference between rich and poor, between famous and ordinary; free spirit was the vibe.
By 2006 the pool had some serious problems: its physical condition was deteriorating and it was impossible to remodel due to conservation laws. The golden years of swimming were over. The private owner was unable to continue to maintain the pool. Then came the talk of destructing the pool and the protests of the swimmers until the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa decided to renovate the pool and the surrounding area in order to revive it. After a huge financial investment, the pool complex was renovated, joined by sunbathing beds, shaded areas, a toddlers pool and playground, a bike path and parking for direct access and a huge fitness center including aerobic classes and a spa.
Since July 2009, Gordon Pool is back in full force and enjoys an international reputation and an influx of visitors to discover the benefits of swimming and what goes with it…
original photos above by Rudy Weissenstein from Pri-Or Photo House (1957) all other photo credits Gordon Pool website