The centre of the district municipality – Šilalė – was first mentioned at the beginning of the 16th century, when the first church in Šilalė was built. In 1660, Šilalė was granted a trade privilege (repeatedly – in 1744), and a settlement was renamed to a township. Šilalė, as well as many other townships of Žemaitija region, was repeatedly devastated by fires. After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, Šilalė particularly improved in appearance. In 1994, a new building of a cultural centre was opened, the Independence Square was tidied up, and a sculpture Herald of Freedom (Laisvės šauklys; sculptor K. Kisielius) was put there.