Żuławy region is the child of the Vistula River. Nine thousand years ago, when the last ice age ended, the river broke to the sea and began to fill the triangular basin between the Kashubian Upland and Elbląg Upland with fertile mud. The filling process has lasted for thousands of years and has not yet been completed. The accumulated sediments started to block the free flow of water, which led to catastrophic floods. Then humans entered the “scene”, drying the land, building embankments, raising them and maintaining in a safe condition. A duke of Gdańsk, Świętopełk, began to erect embankments, and all successive rulers of this land continued his work.
The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem greatly contributed to flood safety by issuing relevant decrees and laws concerning the structure of villages, to protect the embankments and fight floods. People settled in Żuławy from prehistoric times – first in Żuławy Malborskie (around Malbork), then Gdańskie (near Gdańsk). In the 13th century, under the rule of the dukes of Gdańsk, there were at least 11 villages in Żuławy Gdańskie. Initially, the settlements were Polish, perhaps with a small number of Prussians. German colonists, who began to arrive in the 13th century, settled mainly in towns. After taking Gdańsk by the Teutonic Knights in 1308 , Żuławy Gdańskie came under their rule and an intense influx of Germans began, mainly from Lower Saxony and Frisia. After the war with the Teutonic Order in the mid-15th century, Gdańsk with Żuławy Gdańskie came under the rule of the Kingdom of Poland.
For 300 years, Żuławy Gdańskie was the dominion of Gdańsk. It was the time of the heyday of the land. The quantity and quality of the fertile land owned or leased by peasants (a peasant had, on average, 4 włókas, i.e. about 70 ha), herds of horses and cattle, and very favourable relations with the owner, which was Gdańsk, made local peasants get rich quickly and achieve a wealth standard similar to rich burghers from Gdańsk. The wealth of former inhabitants of this land flowing with milk and honey, as well as proximity to a strong centre of culture – Gdańsk, resulted in the early disappearance of many elements of traditional rural folklore and replacing them with customs more typical of a town. Due to their wealth, peasants from Żuławy achieved a social status that differed significantly from the status of the representatives of this stratum from other Polish lands.