Close to the RijksMuseum, on the corner of the Hobbemakade, the Zuiderbad is the place where I go for a swim three times a week. Usually on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, which are the quieter moments in this well-visited swimming pool. Lying on my back in the water, I can admire the fine architectural design of the roof with its steel frame and nice wood work.
The building was opened in 1897 and originally was an indoor bike riding school. After the company went bankrupt, the building was turned into a indoor swimming pool for the public. Mainly because Professor Otto Lanz of the University of Amsterdam called for the urgency for a municipal swimming pool because people needed the exercise but also to improve personal hygiene and the need for a better physical condition. In 1912 his wish was fulfilled.
Novelties in those days were the central heating system and the electric lighting so one could also go for a swim in the winter months. The structure of the swimming pool is plain and simple. On the floor of the original bike riding school a water basin was built with a capacity of 700,000 liters of water. That’s why we have to climb the stairs to buy a ticket and enter the swimming pool. Separate lanes for breaststroke are in place. The wellness corner is modest and serves its purpose. Notice: a surplus is charged. For those who fancy skinny dipping, they are welcome on Sundays from 16:30-17:30 hours.