The church was probably built in 1240. It was then given the call of Saint Nicholas, patron of merchants and sailors. The oldest mention of it comes from the location document of the Old Town of Elbląg, issued in 1246 by the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Henry von Hohenlohe. The first construction phase was completed in 1284. In subsequent years, the church was systematically expanded. The full completion of masonry work and the shape of the church were completed around 1378. To strengthen the main tower in 1428, two side towers were added. Each tower has been covered with a separate roof. In the years 1599-1603, the central tower was covered with a renaissance helmet.
The church was severely damaged during a fire of 1777. At that time, the tower’s helmet, roof, and valuable interior furnishings were destroyed due to the collapse of the gothic vaults. In a difficult financial situation, the city could not rebuild the temple to its original appearance. All three towers were demolished and the church was lowered by more than 6,5 meters. The tower that we see today was built only in 1907. Subsequent destruction of the building was related to war activities carried out in Elbląg in the beginning of 1945.
The church initially had the form of a low three-nave, five-span basilica with a two-span chancel surrounded by external buttresses. As early as in the 13th century, it was enlarged from the east, the aisles were extended by aligning it with the central nave, which made the building a hall shape. A presbytery was also separated, surrounded on both sides by chapels. A place was obtained for them, destroying the walls of the side aisles. In 1428, two side towers were added at the main tower. Originally the temple had stellar vaults.
Webpage leksykonkultury.ceik.eu, Katedra pw. św. Mikołaja w Elblągu.