The town’s name derives from the Polish “fish” (ryba) and means “pond for fish” (“fish pond”) in the old Polish language, the Roma language “rebniko” still means “fish pond”). The name reflects the significance of the economy in the Middle ages.
The history of the city dates back to the IX—X centuries, when the territory of modern city was founded three Slavic settlement, which formed one city. In the framework of settlement of the Germans in the East (Ostsiedlung), Rybnik, as many other Polish settlements, according to the Magdeburg right before 1308 (the exact date is not established) received city status and corresponding rights.
This, however, did not affect national identity — Rybnik continued to be part of the Kingdom of Poland, until Silesia, the whole became a fiefdom of the Bohemian crown in 1327. The city continued to grow and develop, gradually becoming regional trade centre. In the fifteenth century, the Hussites devastated the city, and then were defeated in a decisive battle nearby. From 1526, Bohemia, including the dependent Silesia, which was part of kraków, became part of the possessions of the Habsburgs.