Sławno is one of the oldest cities in the north of Poland. Its settlement history dates back to the 12th century. In 1317 the town was founded according to Lübeck law. In its long history the town experienced numerous changes of sovereign: it belonged to various Pomeranian duchies and was temporarily annexed to the Kingdom of Poland and the Mark Brandenburg. The spiritual life in the town was dominated by the Order of the Knights of St. John, who already owned a religious house here before 1155 and had the right of patronage over the town churches.