The town was first mentioned in 795 AD and was raised to city status in 972 by Otto I. Its name is derived from the Longobardi, the tribe for whom it was the home and centre. From it the colonization of Lombardy started under their nontrinitarianArian king Alboin.
The city was razed to the ground, with the exception of the churches, in 1189 by Henry the Lion. Until that time, it was the most prosperous commercial city of north Germany.
Today's building of the former collegiate, meanwhile Lutheran church (German: Bardowicker Dom, with Dom being used in German language - pars pro toto - as a synecdoche for collegiate churches and cathedrals alike) was erected between 1389 and 1485.