The Harbour Bath
A green dream came true when the first locals were able to take a dip in the heart of the Port of Copenhagen, which had once been terribly polluted. In 2001 the water was declared clean enough for swimming, and the following year the first temporary harbour bath opened at Islands Brygge.
It was such a huge success, and so effective at cooling down the centre of town on hot summer days, that the bath was quickly made permanent, while the temporary facility was moved to Fisketorvet on the other side of the harbour.
Since then, more harbour baths have been added, including the ‘Coral Bath’ at Sluseholmen. The Islands Brygge Harbour Bath is still by far the most popular, and has become a symbol of the new, green Copenhagen.
Tourists gawp with a mixture of scepticism and envious amazement when they first see water-loving locals diving into the harbour, which just a few decades ago would have been an extremely unhealthy thing to do.
The Harbour Bath has its own lifeguard during the season, as do all the other baths open during the summer months. There are children’s pools, a diving pool and tower, and a proper exercise pool, where regulars swim lengths before going to work or getting down to their studies.
The baths are also used in winter, and members of the local winter bathing club have access all year round. The club holds regular open events and would like to see the bath expanded, making it even more suitable for all-year-round use.
Photo: Scanpix/ Linda Kastrup