Following the light to the destination - socks with a lantern

How sea socks teach history

Colorful socks are not only a comfortable accessory, but can also become an inspiration to learn more about the world. Sea lighthouse socks inspired us to take a closer look at these majestic structures. Although the history of the first lighthouses dates back to ancient times, modern structures bear only a slight resemblance to their distant prototypes. In ancient times, piles of wood were kindled near the shore to inform sailors of the harbor's location. If the waterfronts were low-lying, then the light was hoisted up using crane-like structures. The height of the shoreline still plays a very important role now. The higher the location, the lower the lighthouse can be. This principle also works the other way. If the site is low-lying, then in order to maintain adequate visibility, one must decide to erect a tall lighthouse. The structures were built mainly of stone and brick, but there were also structures for which the building material was wood. The first descriptions of the so-called fire columns date back to 400 BC. Undoubtedly, the most famous structure from this period can be considered the lighthouse in Pharos, which was built around 280 BC on the initiative of Ptolemy I, then king of Egypt. In Polish sources, information about the original lighthouses dates back to the 11th century. Currently, there are 17 of this type in our country, including in Gdansk, Jastarnia, Ustka, Swinoujscie, Kolobrzeg and Hel. Interestingly, Poland is in possession of two lighthouses that are located at the poles: on Spitsbergen in the Arctic and on King George Island in the Antarctic.

Lighthouses in culture

Once you know a brief history of lighthouses, you can brew some warm tea and sit down in comfy socks for an evening movie or reading. The lighthouse motif is often found in both. What is appealing about it, among other things, is its rich symbolism. Lanterns are associated with both loss, loneliness, the search for life's purpose and finding it. They offer hope, and at the same time are associated with living on the borderline of two worlds, where reality mixes with fantasy. This is perfectly portrayed in the film Lighthouse by Robert Eggers. In this production nothing is obvious. The place of action is the titular lighthouse, where two men (Williem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) have to live. The viewer is given a spectacle of acting, in which the lines between truth and fantasy are slowly blurred. Other well-known films with a lighthouse theme include Martin Scorsese's Island of Secrets and Derek Cianfrance's The Light Between Oceans. Among literary works, The Lighthouse Keeper, which has been in the canon of school readings for years, leads the way. Even if in your youth you had no affection for Henryk Sienkiewicz's novella, it is worth looking into it years later. Being an adult, you can read this book in a completely different way and discover in it a lot of beauty once unseen.

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