During the Middle Ages a local crafts (mainly shoe-making) and trade centre (pig fairs); a city charter before 1283; at the turn of the 16th c. a centre of Protestantism; 1793-1919 under Prussian Partition (1807-15 in the Duchy of Warsaw); in the 19th c. one of the centres of Polish national movement in Wielkopolska; one out of four insurgent camps in 1848; development of food and ceramics industries in the second half of the 19th c., trade in grains and timber; a railway link from 1876; inhabitants took part in the Wielkopolska Uprising of 1918-19 (a victorious battle against Germans near Kobyla Góra); During the German occupation of 1939-45 incorporated into the Third Reich, deportations to the General Government; ca. 12,000 people murdered in the area by the Germans; a conspiracy centre of the Home Army (AK); many members of Polish independence organizations arrested and deported further into USSR by the NKVD in 1945. A county seat in the following years: 1818-1932, 1956-75, and since 1999.

The entry was prepared on the basis of source materials of PWN (Polish Scientific Publishers).