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Ancient Swimming Pool in Greece Among Most Beautiful Ever Built

Ancient swimming pool
The Roman Bath at Isthmia was constructed about 150 AD (on the foundations of a bath of Classical date around 360 BC) in an area of the Sanctuary that was probably used by athletes. This Bath had a swimming pool 30 meters long and 1.4 m deep. Credit: Zde, Zde – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

An ancient swimming pool at Isthmia near Corinth in Greece is still regarded two thousand years later as an aesthetic engineering marvel.

The swimming pool, located on a prominent height overlooking the Great Ravine on the Isthmus of Corinth, was built over the remains of an earlier Greek building, presumably also a bathing establishment, that itself had at least two phases, the latter of which may be assigned to the 4th century B.C.

The Roman building was constructed in the middle of the 2nd century A.D. it seems to have been in use until the very end of the 4th century after which it fell into decay.

The mosaic floor with its unparalleled beauty dazzles all visitors. Up Drones took a closer look, as seen in the following video.

Ancient swimming pool with figural panels and sea creatures

According to Timothy E. Gregory of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the mosaic is divided laterally into thirds. In the center are two large figural panels and four square panels with geometric designs at each end.

A black border surrounds the whole mosaic, and the individual panels are framed by a band of pairs of rectangles with lozenges containing figures of dolphins or fleur-de-lis, alternating with squares containing crosslets.

The two figural panels in the center, one above the other, are practically identical images showing a Triton with a Nereid on his back and each group surrounded by sea creatures.

Isthmia is an ancient sanctuary of Poseidon and an important archaeological site on the territory of the ancient city-state of Corinth. It was famous in antiquity for the Isthmian Games and its Temple of Poseidon.

The Isthmian Games, which were held near the Temple of Isthmia in honor of Poseidon, was one of the four great Athletic Festivals of Ancient Greece, alongside those of Zeus at Olympia and Nemea, and those of Apollo at Delphi.

The Archaic Temple of Poseidon, which was excavated in 1952 by Oscar Broneer, was built in the Doric style in 700 BC. The temple was constructed on a plateau, surrounded by valleys and considered the center of the Isthmian sanctuaries.

The temple also housed shrines to gods related to Poseidon such as his son, Cyclopes, and the goddess Demeter.

Related: League of Corinth: The First Time All Greek People United Together


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