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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.; 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.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 2017, Aarhus has been selected as European Capital of Culture along with Paphos in Cyprus.
"Aa" was also used by some major institutions between 1948-2011 as well, such as Aarhus university (AU) or the largest local sports club, Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF), who have never used the "Å"-spelling.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.There are strong indications of a former royal residence from the Viking Age in Viby, a few kilometres south of the Aarhus city centre.The growing influence of the Church during the Middle Ages gradually turned Aarhus, with its bishopric, into a prosperous religious centre.
Many public and religious buildings were built in and around the city; notably Aarhus Cathedral was initiated in the late 12th century by the influential bishop Peder Vognsen.