Biskupin settlement is situated 50 km from Bydgoszcz (about 50 min drive) and 88 km from Poznań (about 1.5 h drive). The beginnings of Biskupin modern existence dates back to 1933 when the level of water in Biskupin fell and local residents started to find relics from the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age (about the 14th century B.C. till the 5th century B.C.). The settlement itself probably was erected in winter of 738 B.C. The excavations in Biskupin took many years and were very thorough. The settlement was stated to be the Monument of the Polish History. Currently, Biskupin has full size reconstructions of a rampart, groyne, gate, streets and houses. Apart from reconstructed settlement tourist visit Biskupin museum and archaeology fair that takes place every September. It is a huge event during which visitors can feel the spirit of the original settlement and learn numerous old everyday activities, everything during numerous experimental presentations and shows. Biskupin is the best place for archaeology lovers.
The beginnings of the museum in Biskupin date back to the 1930s, when after the water level in Lake Biskupin has lowered, rows of sharpened wooden piles protruding from the water appeared. These were not, as it was initially thought, the gables of mythical buildings, but the remains of a palisade surrounding an ancient city. Children attending the local school reported it to the teacher, Walenty Switzerland, who notified the Poznań archaeologists. As a result, he became famous as the discoverer of the most famous Polish hillfort and archaeological site in general. A defensive settlement of the Lusatian culture from the early Iron Age was immediately called the Polish Pompeii.
The excavations began in the spring of the following year. Biskupin emerged when the water level in Lake Biskupin fell. Almost 2.7 thousand years remained under water. The water discovered a wonderfully preserved structure on the basis of which it was possible to recreate a defensive settlement. Detailed dendrological studies have provided evidence that the trees for the construction of Biskupin were felled between 747 and 722 BCE.
Originally, the settlement had an area of about 2 ha. It is estimated that about 800 - 1000 people lived there. For safety reasons, it was surrounded by a rampart made of wood, about 6 meters high. It was possible to get to the settlement through the gate, which also served as an observation point. Along 11 parallel streets, 105 identical houses, 8 by 10 m in size, were set up. Each had a vestibule and one room with a stone hearth. A hearth was lit in the middle of the room. Thanks to an opening in the roof, smoke from the fire could escape from the room. The houses in the settlement had no windows, so they were constantly dimmed. In each house there was also a vestibule, which in winter served as a shelter for animals kept by the inhabitants of the stronghold. The huts were made of wood, and all buildings standing in a row were covered with a common roof, probably covered with reeds.
The population of Biskupin mainly dealt with farming, animal husbandry and crafts (e.g. weaving, pottery, bronze and iron casting), but also hunting, fishing and gathering. Legumes, oilseeds, turnips and flax were grown. Horses, cattle, goats, sheep, pigs were bred, and dogs were also kept.
The biggest attraction of Biskupin is showing "living history". Visitors can see reconstructions of huts hundreds or even thousands of years ago, and at the same time learn about the habits of the people who used to live here, their work and craftsmanship, participating in the daily activities of their ancestors and, as it were, going back to their time. Visiting the settlement, they are moving from the oldest to newer times.
In the Stone Age Neolithic Village, visitors will see reconstructions of the so-called "Long houses" from 6,000 years ago. One of them houses the exhibition "The Age of the First Farmers". The most characteristic point of the reserve is located in The Defense Housing Estate of the Lusatian Culture (Defensive People's Culture). It is a rampart with a tower and a gate. The Early Piast Village has existed in Biskupin since the 8th century. It was inhabited by craftsmen. The Museum Pavilion hosts a permanent exhibition "Dawn of history on Lake Biskupińskie". Immediately behind it is the Experimental Archeology Quarter, where animals are farmed and people try to produce everyday items in exactly the same way as the former settlers did. The last point is Chata Pałucka from the 18th century, which houses an ethnographic exhibition. There is also an active apiary and a well.
The archaeological reserve in Biskupin has been declared a Historical Monument. About 200,000 tourists visit the museum every year, which makes it one of the most popular institutions of this type.
Every year, the Archaeological Museum in Biskupin together with the Institute of Archeology of the University of Warsaw organize an archaeological festival. It takes place in the third week of September and lasts nine days. Each year, the event has a different theme. The festival program is extremely rich. Guests can take part in numerous lectures, presentations and workshops. Folk artists present old crafts and arts, and visitors can also try ancient cuisine. There are also thematic exhibitions and film screenings related to archeology. The festival in Biskupin is also attractions for children - they can participate in games and activities from the distant past. The event is one of the largest events of its kind in Central Europe.