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The city ranks as the 92nd largest city in the European Union, and as number 234 among world cities. Aarhus is the principal industrial port of the country in terms of container handling and an important trade hub in Kattegat.
Major Danish companies have based their headquarters here and people commute for work and leisure from a wide area in Region Midtjylland.
Archaeologists have conducted several excavations in the inner city since the 1960s revealing wells, streets, homes and workshops.
In the buildings and adjoining archaeological layers, everyday utensils like combs, jewellery and basic multi-purpose tools from approximately the year 900 have been found.
It is a centre for research and education in the Nordic countries and home to Aarhus University, Scandinavia's largest university, including Aarhus University Hospital and INCUBA Science Park.
Being the Danish city with the youngest demographics, with 48,482 inhabitants aged under 18, Aarhus is known for its musical history.
In the 900s an earth rampart for the defence of the early city was constructed, encircling the settlement, much like the defence structures found at Viking ring fortresses elsewhere.
The official and religious status spurred growth so in 1477 the defensive earthen ramparts, ringing the town since the Viking age, were abandoned to accommodate expansion.Market town privileges were granted in 1441, but growth stagnated in the 17th century as the city suffered blockades and bombardments during the Swedish Wars.In the 19th century it was occupied twice by German troops during the Schleswig Wars but avoided destruction.In 2010, the city council voted to change the name from "Århus" to "Aarhus" to strengthen the international profile of the city. Certain geographically affiliated names have been updated to reflect the name of the city, such as the Aarhus River, changed from "Århus Å" to "Aarhus Å".It is still grammatically correct to write geographical names with the letter Å and local councils are allowed to use the Aa spelling as an alternative.
Whichever spelling local authorities choose, most newspapers and public institutions will accept it.