The first traces of settlers in the northeren part of Żuławy Wiślane date back to 2,500 BC. Despite frequent flooding, as time passed, the periodic human colonies were turning into a dense settlement network.
The arrival of the Dutch and German settlers marked a breakthrough for the economy of that time, as modern methods of draining the marshy land were being introduced, e.g. forming polders. The Mennonite community was a pacifist faction of Anabaptists, i.e. re-baptisers. They settled in abandoned and flood-damaged villages, which later flourished through their hard and consistent work. Their humble lives and religious principles (bans on holding offices, swearing oaths, wearing trinkets) were seen as mysterious and often peculiar rites, which over time made this community legendary.
To this day, the former Mennonite graveyards surprise with the traces of those settlers of old. The drainage windmills are another token of their presence. The first structures of this type were erected in the 14th Century by the Teutonic Knights, but it was thanks to the Dutch community that they acquired great significance for settlements at that time.
The landscape of Nowy Dwór Gdański’s environs, once full of windmills, now lacks this distinctive achievement of its former settlers. To preserve what is left of this heritage, work has started to reconstruct Żuławy’s last drainage windmill. This only remaining windmill found is the 18th-Century wind pump from Ostaszewo.
In 2006, following the consent granted by the Pomeranian Conservation Officer, under the supervision of Marek Opitz (a member of the Nowy Dwór Club) and under the coordination of Jerzy Domino from the National Monument Conservation Service in Elbląg, the surviving remains of the windmill were moved from Sobieszewska Island to Nowy Dwór Gdański. All the preserved parts were placed in the Żuławy Museum.
The multicultural history of the Nowy Dwór Gdański land may also be noted in the unique architecture of this region. The characteristic feature of these lands, and the entire Żuławy Wiślane, is the presence of arcade houses. Wooden or brick, with a frame structure and an intricately-constructed arcade supported by several columns, they imbue the local architecture with a unique style.
Other historic buildings left by the settlers of old are the Dutch farmsteads, located on mounds raised specifically for this purpose, called Terps. Houses of this type feature a dense residential-economic complex made by combining the two gables of the stable and barn, and a shape resembling an elongated rectangle, sometimes the letters L or T. Religious buildings – Gothic village churches made of brick – are also of a very high tourist value
Continuous and uninterrupted development aimed at drawing attention to Żuławy’s assets has become a priority for the Nowy Dwór Gdański Commune. The dynamic work of the Local Government focussed on increasing the region’s value give the Commune and the town a new significance. Establishing cooperation with foreign towns is helping the commune to achieve great progress in tourism, culture, knowledge, and sports.
The Nowy Dwór Gdański Commune has already signed partnership agreements with such towns as Hennef (Sieg) in Germany and Swietłyj in the Kaliningrad Oblast. Cooperation with two new towns has also started – Sarna in Ukraine and Velka nad Velićkou in the Czech Republic.
The town and Commune of Nowy Dwór Gdański is also a good place for various associations, which are very active, and influence the development of culture and art. These include The Nowy Dwór Gdański Enthusiasts’ Association – the Nowy Dwór Club, the IWA Cultural Society, and the Żuławy Sports Society. There are also organisations active mainly in their home villages, such as the Our Village Stobna Association, the Jazowa Association, and the Friends of Marzęcin Association.