Aarhus

Aarhus or Århus () is the second-largest city in Denmark and the seat of Aarhus Municipality. It is located on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula, in the geographical centre of Denmark, northwest of Copenhagen and north of Hamburg. It has 259,754 inhabitants (1 January 2014) in the inner urban area and a municipal population of 326,676. Eurostat calculates 845,971 inhabitants in the larger urban zone. The history of Aarhus began as a fortified Viking settlement founded in the 8th century with the first written records stemming from the bishopric seated there from at least 948. The city was founded on the northern shores of a fjord at a natural coastal harbour and the primary driver of growth was for centuries seaborne trade in agricultural products. 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. As the industrial revolution took hold, the city grew to become the second-largest in the country by the 20th century. Today Aarhus is at the cultural and economic core of the region and the largest centre for trade, services and industry in Jutland. It 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. 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 youngest city in the country, with students making up 13% of the population, Aarhus is also one of the fastest growing with an average growth of 4,000 people per annum since 2010. The city is a central part of the East Jutland metropolitan area, the second largest area of population (1.26 million people) and economic growth in Denmark. Aarhus is notable for its musical history. In the 1950s many jazz clubs sprang up around the city, fuelled by the young population. By the 1960s, the music scene diversified into rock and other genres. In the 1970s and 1980s, Aarhus became the centre for Denmark’s rock music fostering many iconic bands such as TV-2 and Gnags. Aarhus is home to the annual eight-day Aarhus International Jazz Festival, the SPoT Festival and the Northside Festival.