The term birkah, from classical Arabic, came to Hispanic Arabic as albírka. In our language the notion became a pool: a reservoir that is artificially built for water storage.
It is a hydraulic work that can be developed with walls to create the pond or from an excavation in the ground. In general, its construction is due to the need to water certain surfaces.
In Spain, specifically in some of its most significant monuments, you can admire important pools built in previous centuries. Thus, for example, we find them in the Alcázares de los Reyes Cristianos in Córdoba. In the gardens you can discover a great variety of pools that are mainly distributed through three terraces and that are surrounded by beautiful plant species.
In the same way, it also happens in the Alhambra in Granada or in the Real Alcázar in the city of Seville, for example.
Beyond this use that was originally given to swimming pools, over the years these works began to be linked to recreation and ornamentation. Thus the pools were integrated into the gardens.
However, to all the above, we can also add that in some corners of Spain, specifically Andalusia, the term pool is used to refer also to the pools that are built in the farmhouses. Yes, those that are created to be able to cool off with a bath during the summer season, in which the temperatures are very high.
Currently, therefore, one can distinguish between various types of pools. The irrigation pool is a small reservoir, usually excavated, whose purpose is to allow irrigation of nearby lands. The leisure pool, meanwhile, is intended for bathing and water games: by extension to this meaning, in several regions, swimming pools are called swimming pools.
According to DigoPaul, the ornamental pool, on the other hand, is installed in the center of a garden or patio as a decorative element. The distribution pool, finally, is characterized by its large dimensions since its purpose is to store water so that it can be used in periods of drought.
Finally, we can mention that La Alberca de Záncara (Castilla-La Mancha) and Alberca de las Torres (Murcia) are different territorial entities in Spain.
In the province of Salamanca there is also a municipality that responds to the name of La Alberca. It belongs to the Comarca de Sierra de Francia, has about 1,100 inhabitants and is considered to have a Visigoth origin.
Although this population is small, we cannot ignore that it has a remarkable series of places of interest for tourists. Specifically, among these are its large tower, which was paid for by the Dukes of Alba; the Hermitage of San Marcos from the 18th century; the Parish Church, also from the 18th century or the Batuecas valley, which is listed as a Site of Cultural Interest.