Merkinė was first mentioned in Novgorodas chronicles in 1359. First church was constructed in 1387 due to Lithuania’s adoption of Christianity, later due to using wood as building material in was burned down and rebuilt is masonry in 1418. The opening of the church was a big event and it included Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ruled Jogaila celebrating his Christmas there. At the same time Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas was sending letters to Teutonic Knights, negotiating the terms of their surrender. In 1420 in Merkinė Czech messengers of the royal family offered the crown to Vytautas and Jogaila, establishing their respect to the powerful duo.
Build it the crossing the trading routes, Merkinė flourished in XV-XVII centuries, this lead to the gifting of Magdeburg rights by Žygimantas Augustas and an adoption of the official city stamp, white unicorn. Upon receiving the rights in 1569, Merkinė was a big city and to commemorate that four masonry posts with bells and countries national symbols were erected in 1579 to mark the end of the city, they can still be see to this day.
After Lithuania’s baptism in 1387, Jogaila signed Magdeburg rights to Vilnius in Merkinė.