The settlement Gora (Góra) in the Duchy of Silesia was first mentioned in a deed from 1155 by Pope Adrian IV conveying the property to the Diocese of Wroclaw. The name of the town means "hill" or "mountain" in Old Polish. In 1288 it became part of the Duchy of Głogów under the Piast duke Henry III and received Magdeburg rights. The German name Guhrau is first documented in 1336. From the 14th century onwards, the town developed to a center of cloth manufacturing.
Prussia annexed Guhrau upon the First Silesian War in 1742 and from 1816 was the administrative seat of Landkreis Guhrau within the Province of Silesia. Again a county seat from 1946, from 1975 to 1998 Gora belonged to Leszno Voivodeship.
This ambitious project was the work of the Bishop of Poznan Stefan Wierzbowski. In 1666, he bought the village of Gora (Góra), lying 36 km from Warsaw, and built a town there, which he called the New Jerusalem. Its urban layout was a combination of two traditions. On the one hand, it supposed to show (at least according to contemporary knowledge) the topography of the Holy City. Soil came from Palestine, which was strewn over the streets. On the other hand, the town has a design according to the plan of the Cross, to symbolize the spiritual order of the world. The bishop built 38 chapels for Passion worship.
New Jerusalem soon began to attract large numbers of pilgrims from Masovia. To provide pastoral care, Bishop Wierzbowski brought in seven religious orders, which opened their monasteries. At that time, seven church towers looked down over the town, a view unparalleled in other Cavalries. With time, the town gained the name Góra Kalwaria (Mount Calvary). It declined in importance after the partition of Poland, when first the Prussian authorities secularised most church property, and then the Russian closed the monastic orders. Today, of all the old gatherings, only the Marians still conduct ministrations. The main site of pilgrimage, however, has become the Upper Room of New Jerusalem, where the body of St. Stanisław Papczyński now rests.