Cool down at the Waschmühle

by Petra Lessoing
Ramstein Public Affairs

Swimmers who enjoy taking a dip in the pool at this time of year can do so in the biggest one-basin outdoor swimming pool in Europe.

The public pool and basin – called the “Waschmühle,” or laundry mill – is located in the northern part of Kaiserslautern.  Kaiserslautern residents abbreviate its name and call it “Wesch.” It’s name comes from a mill that was built in Kaiserslautern at the end of the 19th century, which utilized the power of the creek’s water to run a laundry mill.

At the changeover of the century, the newly established swimming club of Kaiserslautern had the idea to build a public pool at this location. Some potential sponsors helped to realize the idea. Construction started in 1906 and it officially opened in 1908.

The pool originally got its fresh water from Eselsbach creek. Next to the big basin, a long drawn-out wing of wooden changing cabins was built in art nouveau style. The pool was divided into a men’s section in the west and a ladies’ section in the east.

The pool is the oldest of its kind in Germany. It is not heated. Today, it gets its water from deep wells. The temperature of the water is usually  between 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. On hot days, it can reach as high as 24 degrees.

The basin has a water surface of 10,000 square meters (about 107.640 square feet) and is 165 meters long (about 528 feet).

Swimmers can jump from a 10-meter-high diving platform or slide down the water slides. There is a baby pool for toddlers, a playhouse, swings, ping pong tables, two beach volleyball fields and a soccer field.

The lawn area to sunbathe and relax is 25,000 square meters (about 269,000 square feet).

Hungry and thirsty visitors can buy food and beverages at a little kiosk.

Admission tickets cost €2 for adults and €1 for students, servicemembers and children 6 to 15 years old.

Its hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, except for Tuesdays, when it opens at noon.

The Waschmühle swimming pool is located on Morlauterer Strasse 100.