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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.

Aarhus grew to become one of the largest cities in the country by the early 16th century.In 2017, Aarhus has been selected as European Capital of Culture along with Paphos in Cyprus.With the Danish spelling reform of 1948, "Aa" was changed to "Å".; 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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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.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.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.The city gates funnelled most traffic through a few streets where merchant quarters were built.In the 17th century, Aarhus entered a period of recession as it suffered blockades and bombardments during the Swedish wars and trade was dampened by the preferential treatment of the capital by the state.Whichever spelling local authorities choose, most newspapers and public institutions will accept it.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.

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