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Spain's Best

Simple...a series of lists declaring Spain's "best" in anything and everything...they may be lists compiled by independent reviewers or by myself....whichever, I hope you find them useful :-)

Spain's Biggest Swimming Pool?
Thursday, August 25, 2022 @ 11:15 PM


“From space, you can see the Great Wall of China, the Himalayas and also the Orcera pool”, says the lyrics of the song that the singer Zahara dedicated to the great Amurjo pool, in Orcera (Jaén), a huge backwater in which they fit four million litres of water, surrounded by pine trees and embedded in an idyllic natural setting. 

Zahara Gordillo composed the song with the complicity of humorist David Broncano. The two met as children at the Orcera school —both their mothers were teachers there— and, years later, their paths crossed again to shout from the rooftops the benefits of what is already the most famous swimming pool in Spain and, in the absence of scientific verification, it may also be the largest. In addition, it is a pioneer in having a summer cinema where viewers enjoy the film lying on boats on this immense inland sea.

"I challenge everyone to come and take a long swim, it's amazing," says José Luis Endrino proudly, a young man from Orcero who goes almost daily to bathe in this large pond whose official measurements are 85 meters long by 30 wide. The operators take almost three days to fill it. Its capacity is for 1,200 people (just under the 1,700 inhabitants of this small municipality in the Sierra de Segura in Jaén), a figure that has meant that restrictions did not even have to be applied in the first two summers of the pandemic.

But this magical place has not always been like this. Until 1987 it was an area where the water from the Amurjo River was dammed. Subsequently, an agreement was signed with the Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICONA) to divert the course of the river and turn this continental bathing area into a "blessed swimming pool", as is sung in the song by Zahara.

In some way, this inland ocean that represents the Amurjo pool serves as a metaphor for the greatness that this area once had, converted into a large reserve of the Spanish Navy. In Orcera, the Segura Common Ordinances were signed in 1580, a legal reference framework for almost 200 years until, in 1748, Fernando VI declared the so-called Segura Maritime Province (which included territories of Jaén, Albacete, Murcia and Ciudad Real). for the management of forest resources that were mainly used for shipbuilding. “Amurjo is something very special due to the connection with this space every summer. We speak of Amurjo with pride as one of the elements that identify us”, says Sergio Rodríguez, historian and official chronicler of Orcera.


"A pool like this, in the middle of such a beautiful natural setting, is a real luxury," remarks Clara Herreros, who goes daily with her two children to this "privileged place." This user highlights the accessibility and adaptability of Amurjo and the wide leisure-cultural offering that is generated around it. From the Summer School to the Multisport Campus, passing through the lifeguard courses, everything has its epicentre in this natural area, which since this summer is also the starting point for a tourist train. "It is clear that it is the flagship of tourism in the entire region, but at the same time it becomes an important source of local employment," says Sonia Romero, the councillor responsible for managing Amurjo. In addition to the dozen direct jobs created, the City Council has opened a job bank for young people looking for their first job, where they offer 15-day contracts for the maintenance tasks of this large pool that, as Zahara sings, seems to be “the bathtub of the gods”.




Finally one of the main attractions of this great aquatic complex is its peculiar summer cinema. The stage is set up in the water and viewers can watch the movies from the pool steps or by renting a boat to watch from the water. The films are usually related to the aquatic world and during the projection the lighting of the pool is played with, which changes colour offering spectacular effects.



Like 3


lenox said:
Monday, August 29, 2022 @ 8:12 AM

Back in the sixties, a friend of my Dad's drew on an envelope the plans to a swimming pool, to explain to our builder what we wanted, as he had never heard of such a thing.
The plans were simple enough - square and with a deep end, and we went back to the UK to sell our home there.
Unfortunately, it became apparent that the plans had been drawn in feet...
and the pool was built in metres.
We filled it upwith water anyway.
The deep end was so deep, it was actually dark down there.

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