In 1933 an eagle-eyed school master spotted wooden stakes sticking out of some lakeside reeds and like a conscientious citizen went to investigate. What he had inadvertently stumbled on was to become known as the Polish Pompeii: a Lusatian fortified settlement dating from the early Iron Age. Excavation work was launched the following year, and carried on under the request of Himmler once Poland fell to Germany. Situated 90km north east of Poznań, Biskupin has since become a popular symbol of patriotism, proof to many that Poland has always proudly defended its borders against the Germans. Today the wooden fortress has been fully reconstructed and is open throughout the year as an open air museum. Although not connected with the Piast dynasty it is seen as a vital part of the route that traces Poland’s early origins. Without a doubt Biskupin rates as one of the great wonders of Poland, but that doesn’t mean tourists will find it easy to get there. Your best bet is to either hire a car or hijack a helicopter. If you’re travelling from Poznań using public transport you'll be in for a three-leg bonanza (Poznań-Gniezno-Rogowo-Biskupin or Poznań-Gniezno-Żnin-Biskupin) and might be stuck spending a night en route, most likely in Żnin. For more info check the comprehensive English language website at www.biskupin.pl.