While the image of swimming at the beach may be tempting to vacationers in Germany this summer, the thought of driving several hours to get there may not be.
Fortunately for Stuttgart residents, Germany’s largest swimming pool center is located within 15 minutes of Panzer Kaserne.
The Badezentrum Sindelfingen has five outdoor and three indoor pools (two Olympic-sized), which provide refreshment to 500,000 visitors a year, according to Peter Riedel, Badezentrum manager.
The center also has the first water climbing tower in the world. Once climbers reach the 15-foot summit, they can jump into the pool to cool off.
Outside, children and adults make good use of an extra-wide metal slide, as well as the four diving boards, up to 10 meters above water, along with grassy areas to sunbathe and barbecue.
“I love it,” said Jennifer Eaton, an Army spouse. “The fields of grass and all the different types of pools … even when there are a lot of people here, it’s so big and spacious, you don’t feel overcrowded.”
The Badezentrum also offers massages, pedicures, a sauna and five whirlpools.
In the outdoor area, children can play in a water playground, complete with sand and toys. When they become dirty, they can clean off in the pool.
“That is forbidden [at home], but you can do it here,” Riedel said. Even U.S. Marines stationed in Stuttgart take advantage of the special pool rules here, he added. “Here, they get to swim in their uniforms and their shoes in the outdoor pool.”
When hunger sets in, swimmers can purchase food at the center’s two restaurants, including a German cafe and an American-style snack shop.
Clothing is not required in one outdoor area, which is clearly marked and separated from the rest of the pools.
The Badezentrum Sindelfingen is located at Hohenzollernstr. 23, 71067 Sindelfingen. For more information, visit www.badezentrum.de.