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The inner urban area contains 269,022 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2017 The history of Aarhus began as a fortified Viking settlement founded in the 8th century and with the first written records stemming from the bishopric seated here from at least 948.The city was founded on the northern shores of a fjord at a natural harbour and the primary driver of growth was for centuries seaborne trade in agricultural products.Parts of the ramparts are still in existence today and can be experienced as steep slopes at the riverside and they have also survived in some place names of the inner city, including the streets of Volden (The Rampart) and Graven (The Moat).Aarhus grew to become one of the largest cities in the country by the early 16th century.In 1657, octroi was imposed in larger Danish cities which changed the layout and face of Aarhus over the following decades.Wooden city walls were erected to prevent smuggling, with gates and toll booths on the major thoroughfares, Mejlgade and Studsgade.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.

Some official authorities such as the Danish Language Committee, publisher of the Danish Orthographic Dictionary, still retain "Århus" as the main name, providing "Aarhus" as a new, second option, in brackets and some institutions are still using "Århus" explicitly in their official name, such as the local newsmedia Århus Stiftstidende and the schools Århus Kunstakademi and Århus Statsgymnasium for example.

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.

; officially spelled Århus from 1948 until 31 December 2010) 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, 187 kilometres (116 mi) northwest of Copenhagen and 289 kilometres (180 mi) north of Hamburg, Germany.

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