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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.
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.
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.
The charter is the first official recognition of the town as a regional power and is by some considered Aarhus' birth certificate.
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.
Århus city council explicitly embraced the new spelling, as it was thought to enhance an image of progressiveness.
In 2010, the city council voted to change the name from "Århus" to "Aarhus" in order 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".
Today Aarhus is at the cultural and economic core of the region and the largest centre for trade, services and industry in Jutland.