The area of the settlement belonged to the Cistercian abbey in Oliwa, which operated a mill, and was first mentioned in 1570 as Bringenthute. In the late 16th century it was property of the Schröer family from Danzig and consisted of the Schöer manor and a mill. In the 18th century an inn and two coppersmiths operated in the village, now called Brentau (1784).
In 1885 Brentau was inhabited by 216 people, a two-class school existed. In 1910 it consisted of 224 farm- and 76 residential buildings, inhabited by 1,179 people. The Forges and a grain mill still operated. In 1913, Brentau was connected to the railway line from Langfuhr (Wrzeszcz) to Kokoschken (Kokoszki). Following World War I Brentau became part of the Free City of Danzig. In the mid-1930s, the village occupied 372 ha and was inhabited by 1,845 people. On 15 August 1933 Brentau was incorporated into the administrative borders of the City of Danzig. Following World War II Brentau became part of Poland and was officially renamed Brętowo in 1949.
The old (now-closed) railway track from Wrzeszcz to Kartuzy goes through the quarter, with Gdańsk Brętowo (PKP station) being the former station. As few railway bridges were destroyed, the remaining bridges are used by alpinists to train.
- "Gdańskie dzielnice tu mieszkam tu działam" (PDF) (in Polish). Gdańsk: City of Gdańsk. p. 404.
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