The swimming pool in Moscow was built at the place of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour that had been demolished in 1930. The construction started in 1958 and in 1960 the swimming pool welcomed its first visitors. That was the largest swimming pool in the USSR and one of the biggest pools in the world that time. Today it is just a history as the construction was demolished.
The sports construction acquired sympathies of the city citizens who often visited the place to have a rest and go in for sports. The swimming pool was opened the entire year and even in winter. The swimming pool realized quite a new conception of rest near water as only a small segment of it was occupied by swim lanes and the rest space could be used just like swimmers wanted.
Construction of the Palace of Soviets started in 1930.
The Palace has never been completed.
Did you know that there is a huge sea deep under Moscow? It is located 3,500-4,500 feet deep. During the construction of the famous swimming pool there was an idea to fill the pool with sea water. However, the plan has never been implemented due to some unknown reasons.
Moscow is experienced in drilling holes reaching the sea. Many wells that had to ensure access to the ancient sea waters are available across Moscow. At wartime the wells were used to obtain salt when the way to regularly used salt-containing regions was closed by enemies.
When they planned to deepen the well for other 5400 feet, the bill for accomplished works was equal to the yearly budget of the city. Because of that they stopped drilling the well.
Soon after the swimming pool was opened there appeared city legends saying that people often drown in the swimming pool, especially in winter. They explained it by the revenge and curse of those who couldn’t reconcile themselves with the loss of the great Cathedral.
Those who wanted to swim in the pool didn’t require any medical certificates. They had just to buy tickets and rent swimming suits and other things necessary for swimming. Disinfecting means were actively used for water decontamination. Medical personnel watched the sanitary condition of the water carefully.
During 33 years of the swimming pool existence no complaints or claims against the water quality were ever made. A special laboratory tested water samples every three hours.
After water contamination the swimming pool was emptied and its bottom was carefully cleaned. The place was regularly visited by many kids who were taught swimming here.
‘It is so pleasant to dive into the blue water of the pool on a hot day! However, swimming in fall and in winter is even more pleasant. The new swimming pool is open all year round and its water is heated’
In 1968 the most part of the swimming pool was closed for swimmers because the bottom was poorly visible at the depth of 7,8 feet. In several years the bottom will be raised to 5,9 feet and the total perimeter will be open for swimming again.
It was strange to look at people swimming in the pool in severe winter frosts. But they felt rather comfortable.
Severe vapor of the pool led to the corrosion of the adjacent buildings. Employees of the Pushkin Museum filed most frequent complaints saying that their precious exhibits were spoiled because of the unlucky neighborhood.
The last years of existence…
The swimming pool had stopped functioning 4 years before its demolishing. In 1991 prices for hot and cold water and electric energy skyrocketed and using the pool became unprofitable. The pool was deprived of water for 3 years which caused deformity of its temperature joints.
Huge holes filled with ground water and garbage were found after demolishing of the swimming pool.
The concrete construction of the swimming pool was of the highest quality. But the sand quality left much to be desired. Before reconstruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour they had to reinforce the ground considerably.