The origins of the parish date back to 1178, when Sambor I, Duke of Pomerania, brought the Cistercian Order to Oliwa. He granted them land and the monks built the first wooden church. In 1350, a fire broke out, destroying the church and the monastery. In the following years, the church was rebuilt in Gothic style. In 1688, Abbot Michal Hacki founded the present Baroque high altar. The monastery buildings, including the cathedral, were built using surprisingly simple means and tools.
It is worth noting that the main nave is as long as 107 m (inside 97.6 m). This makes the cathedral the longest church in Poland and one of the longest in the world.
The pheretron of Our Lady of Oliwa has been associated with the tradition of pilgrimages to Wejherowo’s Calvary since 1720.