A swim at the Drei Weieren, or “Three Pools”, “Three Ponds”, “Three Lakes”, above St Gallen is like a journey back in time. Located on a hill below Mount Freuden, south of the abbey cathedral these three ponds are an oasis of peace and calm in the city. The natural swimming area with a magnificent view over the historic city of St.Gallen and Lake Constance is a delight.
It was built in stages for different purposes. Two were built in the 1600s served to provide water to put out fires during blazes and also to supply water for textile bleaching. With the aid of a wangler, the water was pushed over the Mühlegg into the Steinach and directed onwards into the city. After a while the residents of St Gallen next decided to dig up a pond to make a male public bath in the 1700s. By the early 18th century there were already pools for women, boys and men in keeping with the strict rules on gender separation at bathing facilities in those days. This is still reflected in the names Manne- und Buebeweiher (pond for men and boys) and Frauen- und Familienbadi (pond for women and families).
Today, the «3 Weieren» are among the most beautiful natural swimming areas in Switzerland. There are still four ponds remaining from the original five. It is a beloved swimming area for the locals in summer and invites young and old to swim, stroll, picnic and even ice-skate in winter. A round trip through the pond landscape is attractive at any time of the year due to the panoramic view over the entire city. If you are touring the city in the summer season, you shouldn’t miss out on visiting «3 Weieren» at any cost. The place is ideal for you to spend a day with your loved ones. Kids will love to run around on the green grass while you can spend some relaxing time enjoying a can of beer or eating the best cinnamon cake ever at the Milchhüsli.
So pack yourself a picnic, a crate of cold beer, and head up the hill to the «3 Weieren. Spend the afternoon in and out of the water or just simply sitting on the grass enjoying some music. The atmosphere is good and the evenings in summertime are long and warm.