The history of Gostyń goes back to the 13th century. On the grounds of the location charter of 1278, Mikołaj Przedpełkowic started to build his private town, located on the islands of the old river-bed of the Kania. The name derives from the neighbouring village Gostyń (Stary Gostyń at present).
The town was a significant centre of the Reformation movement. In 1565, the synod of non-Catholic denominations of Wielkopolska (Great Poland) was held here. The meetings were held in the parish church constructed in the first part of the 15th century. Numerous wars, for example against Sweden in the 17th century, and the great plague in the 18th century, devastated the town.
During the partitions of Poland, the inhabitants of Gostyń fought for the Polish national identity, not only by military means, but also by economic, educational and charity activities. The organization Kasyno Gostyńskie, whose one of the most important activists was the blessed Edmund Bojanowski, played an important role here. He was involved in organic work and altruistic help for people in need. In the 20th century citizens of Gostyń fought in the world wars and in Wielkopolska Uprising. Many civilians died for Poland. Years later, the inhabitants of Gostyń took part in a difficult mission of unification of nations. Relations with the Germans are marked by a slogan: Remembering the past, we build the future.