This article is about the city in Denmark. For the convention on public participation, see Aarhus Convention. For the meteorite, see Aarhus (meteorite).

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From top and left to right: Aarhus skyline, Aarhus City Hall, Isbjerget, Christmas in Aarhus
From top and left to right: Aarhus skyline, Aarhus City Hall, Isbjerget, Christmas in Aarhus
Location in Denmark

Coordinates: 56°09′N 10°13′E / 56.150°N 10.217°E / 56.150; 10.217{{#coordinates:56|09|N|10|13|E|type:city_region:DK|| | |name=

Country Denmark
Region Central Denmark (Midtjylland)
Municipality Aarhus
First mention 8th century
City Status 15th century
 • Type Magistrate
 • Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard (S)
 • Urban 91 km2 (35 sq mi)
 • Municipal 468 km2 (181 sq mi)
Highest elevation 105 m (344 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2014)[2]
 • Urban 261,570
 • Urban density 2,854/km2 (7,390/sq mi)
 • Municipal 326,676
 • Municipal density 698/km2 (1,810/sq mi)
Demonym Aarhusianer
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 8000, 8200, 8210
Area code(s) (+45) 8
Website Official website

Aarhus or Århus (Danish pronunciation: [ˈɒːhuːˀs]) 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, Script error: No such module "convert". northwest of Copenhagen and Script error: No such module "convert". north of Hamburg. It has 261 570 inhabitants (1 January 2015) 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. The city is the 92nd largest in the European Union,[3] It is also a top 100 conference city in the World.[4] 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.


The city was mentioned for the first time in 948 by Adam of Bremen who reported that Reginbrand, bishop of the church of Aarhus, participated in a church meeting in the city of Ingelheim in Germany.[5] In Valdemar's Census Book (1231) the city was called Arus, and in Icelandic it was known as Aros, later written as Aars.[6] It is a compound of the two words ār, genitive of ā ("river", Modern Danish å), and ōss ("mouth", in Modern Icelandic this word is still used for "river delta").[7] The name originates from the city's location around the mouth of Aarhus Å (Aarhus River).[8][9] The spelling "Aarhus" is first found in 1406 and gradually became the norm in the 17th century.[6]

Aarhus/Århus spelling

With the Danish spelling reform of 1948, "Aa" was changed to "Å". Some Danish cities resisted the new spelling of their names, notably Aalborg and Aabenraa. Århus city council explicitly embraced the new spelling, as it was thought to enhance an image of progressiveness.[10] In 2010, the city council voted to change the name from "Århus" to "Aarhus" in order to strengthen the international profile of the city. The renaming came into effect on 1 January 2011.

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".[8] 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. 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.[11]


Early history

The Viking Age town (North is left).
Reconstruction of an early church at Moesgaard Museum.

Founded in the early Viking Age, Aarhus is one of the oldest cities in Denmark, along with Ribe and Hedeby.[12]

Recent archaeological finds under the Aros settlement's old defences indicate the site was a town as early as the last quarter of the 8th century, considerably earlier than had been generally supposed.[13][14] This was discovered after an archaeological dig in 2003, which unearthed half buried longhouses, firepits, glass pearls and a road; all dated to the late 700s.[15] Archaeologists have conducted several excavations in the inner city since the 1960s and some of them have revealed wells, streets and more houses, used both as homes and workshops for the Vikings. In the houses and adjoining archaeological layers, everyday utensils like combs, jewellery and basic multi-purpose tools from approximately the year 900 have been found.[16] Some of them are on display at the Viking Museum.[17]

The centre of Aarhus was once a pagan burial site until Aarhus' first church, Holy Trinity Church, a timber structure, was built upon it during the reign of Frode, King of Jutland, around 900.[18] In the 900s an earth rampart for the defence of the early city was also constructed, encircling the settlement, much like the defence structures found at ring fortresses elsewhere. The rampart was reinforced later on by Harald Bluetooth, and together with the town's geographical placement, this suggests that Aros was an important trade and military center. There are strong indications of a former royal residence from the Viking Age in Viby, a few kilometres south of the Aarhus city centre.[19]

The bishopric of Aarhus dates back to at least 948, when written sources mention the bishop of Reginbrand attending the synod of Ingelheim in Germany.[20] The bishopric and the town's geographical location propelled prosperous growth and development of the early medieval town.[21] The finding of six runestones in and around Aarhus indicates the city had some significance around the year 1000, as only wealthy nobles traditionally used them.[22] The era was also turbulent and violent though, with several naval attacks on the city, like Harald Hardradas assault around 1050, when the Holy Trinity Church was burned to the ground.[13][23]

Middle Ages – 18th century

File:Aarhus domkirke.jpg
Aarhus Cathedral, finished in the 1300s.

From the end of the 12th century, the streets of the old town were developed at the initiative of Peder Vognsen, who was bishop of Aarhus from 1192 until his death in 1204. Vognsen also began work on the cathedral which was completed in 1300. As a bishopric, Aarhus became a prosperous religious centre in the Middle Ages. The Church initiated several buildings in and around the city and international contacts secured good trading opportunities especially with Germany and Norway.[21] The oldest existing charter granting market town privileges dates from 1441, although the town no doubt enjoyed similar privileges even before it became a bishopric. Despite the status of Aarhus, farming produce from the surrounding area was exported unlawfully from neighbouring ports. It was only in the 16th century that the city's merchants finally gained control. The defensive earth ramparts were dismantled around 1477 and the town grew steadily, the population rising to about 4,000 by 1620.[24][25]

In 1657 octroi was imposed on agricultural products in larger Danish cities, effectively creating a toll barrier between rural and urban areas. To prevent smuggling and enforce the tax it became necessary to erect wooden walls around the city. City gates and toll booths were constructed on the major thoroughfares, Mejlgade and Studsgade. Up to the 19th century the gates were occasionally moved outwards as the city expanded with Mejlgade receiving its last gate in 1812. The city gates funnelled most traffic through just a few streets which were increasingly used by traders. As a result, large merchants' quarters were created at the ends of the streets.[26]

In the 17th century, although Aarhus was still a large city with many rich merchants, its growth came to a standstill as a result of the Swedish wars and competition from Copenhagen.[25] It was only in the middle of the 18th century that it once again began to prosper with trading conditions improving as a result of agriculture in the surrounding area. Grain in particular proved to be a remunerative export. Factories were established in the town and expansion of the harbour began around 1810.[27]

19th century

Denmark supported France during the Napoleonic wars (1803–1815) and was subsequently excluded from international trade for some years. The loss of Norway in 1814 further caused a large drop in grain exports. Combined these factors resulted in an economic recession that temporarily stunted the growth of the city. However, from the 1830s, economic conditions started to improve and trade rebounded. Factories with steam-driven machinery gradually became more productive as the industrial revolution took hold and regular steamship links with Copenhagen began in 1830.

In 1838, the electoral laws were reformed leading to elections for the 15 seats on the city council. The rules were initially very strict allowing only the wealthiest citizens to run. In 1844 only 174 citizens qualified out of a total population of more than 7,000.[28] The newly formed city council, mainly composed of wealthy merchants and industrialists, quickly looked to improve the harbour which up to this point had been situated along the mouth of the Aarhus River. Larger ships and growing freight volumes made a river harbour increasingly impractical. In 1840, this led to the construction of the new industrial harbour on the coast, north of the river. Over the next 15 years, it became the largest industrial harbour outside Copenhagen. From the outset, the new harbour was controlled by the city council, as it is to this day.[29]

During the First Schleswig War in 1849 Aarhus was occupied by German troops from 21 June to 24 July. The city was spared any fighting but in Vejlby north of the city a cavalry skirmish known as "Rytterfægtningen" took place which stopped the German advance through Jutland.[30] The war and occupation left a notable impact on the city as many streets, particularly in Frederiksbjerg, are named after officers commanding the Danish forces at the time. Fifteen years later during the Second Schleswig War the city was again occupied, from 28 April 1864 to 20 November.[31][32]

File:Havne udsigt fra dokken.jpg
Toldkammeret (Custom House, 1898)

Despite wars and occupation the city continued to develop. In 1851 the octroi was abolished and the walls that had been surrounding the city were removed providing easier access for trade.[29] In 1862 Jutland's first railway was established from Aarhus to Randers. While Aarhus became an important railway hub, the harbour provided a sound basis for seafaring and commerce, initiating significant industrial growth in the city in the second half of the 19th century. It expanded rapidly, soon becoming Denmark's largest provincial city. The population increased drastically from some 15,000 in 1870 to around 52,000 in 1901. In an effort to compensate, the city annexed large land areas and developed quarters like Trøjborg, Frederiksbjerg and Marselisborg.[33]

Throughout the second half of the century new industries were established, many of which would leave prominent iconic marks on the inner city. The Ceres Brewery was established in 1856 and served as Aarhus' local brewery for more than 150 years, gradually expanding into what became known as Ceres-grunden (lit.: the Ceres-grounds).[34][35][36] In 1896 local farmers and businessmen joined forces to create KFK (Korn- og Foderstof Kompagniet), focussing on grain and feedstuffs. KFK soon established departments all over the country, while its headquarters remained at the Aarhus harbour with the large grain silos which still stand today.[37][38][39]

20th century

During the 20th century Aarhus became an industrial city and commercial port. The harbour underwent a series of expansions and culturally, the city marketed itself as the "Capital of Jutland" expanding many of its cultural institutions like the national library, universities such as Aarhus University, which was established in 1928, the Aarhus Theatre and hospitals. Aarhus continued to grow and by the middle of the century it was still the most important business centre in Jutland. For east and central Jutland, it was also the top financial, educational and cultural centre. While industry continued to grow, the service sector started to develop too. Important new factories included the dockyard of Flydedokken and the oil mill of Århus Oliefabrik.

Second World War

On 9 April 1940, German troops invaded Denmark and occupied the city, establishing their headquarters in the university and from 1943 the Gestapo based their headquarters for Jutland there as well. In the later years of the war Aarhus became an important transport hub for seaborne supplies to Norway. On 4 July 1944, a freight barge loaded with ammunition exploded in the harbour, killing 33 people and causing significant destruction to the harbour area.[40]

In 1944 the resistance movement in Jutland encouraged the Allies to conduct an air raid against the German headquarters in Aarhus to destroy files and obstruct operations.[41] On 31 October the Aarhus Air Raid saw a "daring, low-level precision bombing attack" on the Gestapo headquarters in Aarhus by 25 Mosquitoes from the Number 140 Wing of the RAF Second Tactical Air Force. Resistance leader Pastor Harald Sandbaek was being held captive there at the time. The bombs dropped in the centre of the former University of Aarhus building, killing an estimated 150–200 Gestapo members and some 30 Danes while destroying German files on the Danish resistance.[42][43]

Several Schalburgtage operations took place between August 1944 and May 1945, when the occupation ended. The largest occurred on the night of 22 February 1945 when a series of explosions in central Aarhus destroyed or damaged a number of buildings, including Aarhus Teater. Other such operations included two attempts at destroying Aarhus City Hall, recently completed in 1941.

The surrender of German forces officially came into effect on 5 May 1945 but in Aarhus fighting broke out shortly before midday between resistance fighters and a small German force that refused surrender. The fighting claimed the lives of both resistance fighters and civilians but by the end of the day order was restored and on 8 May British forces entered the city, officially liberating it.[44]

Post-war period

Trams in Aarhus, 1969

In the mid-1970s, the population was decreasing but by the 1980s, it was once again on the rise. The service sector prospered, overtaking trade, industry and crafts as the leading sector of employment. Aarhus became Denmark's second major centre of research and education, although the electronics and metallurgy sectors also continued to expand. Workers gradually began commuting to the city from most of east and central Jutland and the region became more interconnected throughout the years.

In 1971 the tram system that had operated since 1884 was closed down and the city instead opted to focus on and expand bus services run by the municipal bus company.[45] With the trams gone new possibilities opened up on the former tram routes and by 1972 the rails and asphalt had been removed from Strøget and the first major pedestrian-only walkway in the city was inaugurated. Over time it was further expanded to include Ryesgade and it evolved into the busiest commercial street in the country by the turn of the century.[46]

From 1980 onwards the city experienced constant growth especially in the student population that had tripled between 1965 and 1977 and continued to grow.[47] The late 20th century became a period of creativity for the city; international brands such as Gaffa and the KaosPilot school were founded in 1983 and 1991 respectively. The period also became a renaissance for music in Aarhus with many popular bands such as TV2, Gnags, Thomas Helmig, Bamses Venner and Shit & Chanel making their debut.[48][49]

21st century

Accelerating growth since the early 2000s brought the city to roughly 260,000 inhabitants by 2014. The rapid growth is expected to continue until at least 2030 when Aarhus municipality has set an ambitious target for 375,000 inhabitants, 220,000 jobs, 200,000 homes and 60,000 students.[50]

File:Lighthouse og Isbjerget feb 2012.jpg
Developments in the Docklands

The growth in population is accompanied by a number of large-scale construction projects in and around Aarhus. The heart of the city is experiencing a significant change of both the skyline and land use, as many old industrial sites are being redeveloped. Most importantly, starting in 2007, the former docklands are being converted to a new mixed residential, commercial and recreational area dubbed "Aarhus Ø" (Aarhus Docklands) to accommodate 7,000 new residents and 12,000 jobs.[51] When Royal Unibrew closed the Ceres breweries in central Aarhus in 2008, a large site opened up, which is now being developed into "CeresByen", home to 1,100 people, schools and businesses[52] with construction initiated in 2012. The former DSB train repair facilities at the square of Frederiks Plads close to the railway station, have been demolished and the area is now under development as a small business district with high-rise buildings scheduled for completion in 2017.[53][54] The main bus terminal is planned to be moved to the central train station by 2018 and the current site will be made into a new residential district.[55][56]

Construction of the first light rail system in the city commenced in 2013, with the first increment to be finished in 2017.[57] The light rail system is planned to eventually tie many of the suburbs closer to central Aarhus. The next phase will connect a large planned suburb west of Lisbjerg.[58][59]


Aarhus is located on the Bay of Aarhus on the eastern shore of the Jutland peninsula, by road Script error: No such module "convert". south of Randers, Script error: No such module "convert". north of Horsens and Script error: No such module "convert". east of Silkeborg.[60] Aarhus lies south of the peninsula of Djursland and faces the Kattegat to the east with the peninsulas of Mols and Helgenæs across the bay to the north and east.

Surrounding areas


File:Egådalen (juli).jpg
Egådalen. A broad and flat valley, marking the northern limits of Aarhus

The bay has a depth of Script error: No such module "convert". quite close to the shore, providing a natural harbour. The early settlement was placed on the northern shores of a fjord, that stretched far inland.[25] The fjord no longer exists, having been replaced by the Aarhus River and Brabrand Lake a few kilometres west of the city. The land around Aarhus was once covered by forests, remains of which exist as Marselisborg Forest to the south[61] and Riis Skov to the north.[62] Several larger lakes extend west from the Skanderborg railway junction and rise to heights exceeding Script error: No such module "convert". at Himmelbjerget.[63]

The hilly area around Aarhus consists of a moranial plateau from the last ice age, broken by a complex system of tunnel valleys. The most prominent valleys of this network are the Aarhus Valley in the south, stretching inland east-west with the Aarhus River, Brabrand Lake and Tåstrup Sø (Tåstrup Lake) and the Egå Valley to the north, with the stream of Egåen, Kasted Mose (Kasted Bog) and Geding Sø (Geding Lake). Much of the two valleys has been drained and subsequently farmed, but recently some of the drainage was removed for environmental reasons. The valley system also includes the Lyngbygård Å (Lyngbygård River) in the west and valleys to the south of the city, following erosion channels from the pre-quaternary. By contrast, the Aarhus River Valley and the Giber River Valley are late glacial meltwater valleys. The coastal cliffs along the Bay of Aarhus consist of shallow tertiary clay from the Eocene and Oligocene (57 to 24 million years ago).[64][65][66][67]


Cityscape in summer
Cityscape in winter

Aarhus is in the humid continental climate zone (Köppen: Dfb) [68] and the weather is influenced by low-pressure systems from the Atlantic which result in unstable conditions throughout the year. Temperature varies a great deal across the seasons with a mild spring in April and May, warmer summer months from June to August, frequently rainy and windy autumn months in October and September and cooler winter months, often with snow and frost, from December to March. The city centre experiences the same climactic effects as other larger cities with higher wind speeds, more fog, less precipitation and higher temperatures than the surrounding, open land.

Western winds from the Atlantic and North Sea dominate across the country resulting in more precipitation in the west. In addition Jutland rises sufficiently in the centre to lift air to higher, colder altitudes further attributing to increased precipitation. Combined these factors make east and south Jutland comparatively wetter than other parts of the country.[69] Average temperature over the year is Script error: No such module "convert". with February being the coldest month (0.1 °C) and August the warmest (15.9 °C). Temperatures in the sea can reach 17 to 22 degrees Celsius in June to August, but it is not uncommon for beaches to register 25 degrees Celsius locally.[70][71]

The geography in the area affects the local climate of the city with the Aarhus Bay imposing a temperate effect on the low-laying valley floor where central Aarhus is located. Brabrand Lake to the west further contributes to this effect and as a result the valley has a very mild, temperate climate. The sandy ground on the valley floor dries up quickly after winter and warms faster in the summer than the surrounding hills of moist-retaining boulder clay. These conditions effect crops and plants that often bloom 1–2 weeks earlier in the valley than on the northern and southern hillsides.[72]

Because of the northern latitude, the number of daylight hours varies considerably between summer and winter. On the summer solstice, the sun rises at 04:26 and sets at 21:58, providing 17 hours 32 minutes of daylight. On the winter solstice, it rises at 08:37 and sets at 15:39 with 7 hours and 1 minute of daylight. The difference in the length of days and nights between the summer and winter solstices is 10 hours and 31 minutes.[73]

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Politics and administration

Aarhus is the seat of Aarhus Municipality. Until the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform, which replaced the Danish counties with five regions, it was also the seat of Aarhus County, which has now been disbanded in favour of Central Denmark Region (Region Midtjylland) seated in Viborg.[74]

The city council consists of 31 members elected for four-year terms. Anybody eligible to vote and residing in Aarhus municipality can run for a seat on the city council. After elections, the council elects a mayor, two deputy mayors and five aldermen.[75] The city is divided into six minor administrative bodies which together constitute the magistrate led by the mayor and the five aldermen as political and administrative directors. It is the only Danish city with a magistrate structure.[76] The six departments of the city are the "Mayor's Department", "Social Affairs and Employment", "Technical Services and Environment", "Health and Care", "Culture and Citizens Services" and "Children and Young People" and handle all the day-to-day operations of the city.[77]

The first publicly elected mayor was appointed in 1919. Since then all the city's mayors have been members of the Social Democrats, except for Louise Gade elected in 2002 who was also the first female mayor. The gender composition of the council has been steadily rising in favour of women through the years and currently 14 of 31 members are women.[78]

The Mayor of Aarhus until 2015 is Jacob Bundsgaard of the Social Democrats.[79]

Party political make-up of Aarhus Council[80]
   Party Seats Current Council (2013–17)
1993 1997 2001 2005 2009 2013
A Social Democrats 15 13 11 13 14 13                                                              
V Venstre 6 7 11 11 5 6                                                              
Ø Red–Green Alliance 1 1 1 1 1 3                                                              
B Socialist People's Party 4 4 3 2 5 2                                                              
C Conservative People's Party 3 3 2 1 3 2                                                              
B Danish Social Liberal Party 1 1 2 2 1 2                                                              
O Danish People's Party 2 1 1 2 2                                                              
I Liberal Alliance 1                                                              

Districts and boroughs

Aarhus has four electoral districts and is divided into four deaneries, under the much larger diocese of Aarhus.[81]

The city is divided into many districts on different levels with several distinct neighbourhoods. The major districts entirely or partially inside the second city beltway Ring 2 include Indre By, Christiansbjerg, Hasle, and Åbyhøj. Districts further out are Højbjerg, Viby, Brabrand, Risskov and Skejby. Larger administrative and postal districts are Aarhus C, Aarhus N and Aarhus V which each encompass many of the smaller districts. Smaller neighbourhoods are Indre By, Trøjborg, Frederiksbjerg, Vesterbro and Aarhus Ø within the district of Midtbyen. Midtbyen is a part of postal district Aarhus C together with Marselisborg, Langenæs and the university campus. Katrinebjerg is located within the district of Christiansbjerg and Møllevangen within Hasle.

Suburbs in the municipality include Åby, Egå, Gellerup, Hasselager, Holme, Kolt, Rosenhøj, Skåde, Skæring, Skejby, Slet, Stavtrup, Tilst, Tranbjerg and Vejlby.[60]

Environmental planning

Main article: Energy in Denmark

Aarhus has increasingly been investing in environmental planning. The city council has identified a number of environmental targets for the coming years within energy efficiency and aquatic environment. The targets are designed to provide the guidelines for green growth in the city.[82][83] In accordance with national policy, Aarhus aims to be CO2 neutral and independent of fossil fuels for heating by 2030.[84] These goals have materialized in a plan to increase multiple-source heat production and the waste and district heating service AffaldVarme Aarhus is building a combined heat and power plant running on biofuels.[85]

Aarhus has been heavily involved with several large-scale water treatment projects on many levels in the last two decades and more will follow in the future.[86][87][88] The initiatives are part of a larger and broader action plan for Aarhus Municipality, that aims for a coherent and holistic administration of the water cycle. This should protect against or clean up previous pollution and encourage green growth and self-sufficiency. One of the main tasks is to deal with the large quantities of excessive nutrients in and around Aarhus, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus. A second task is to tackle the increasing levels of precipitation brought about by current and future climate change, and a third important task is to secure fresh, clean and safe drinking water for the future.[89]

File:True Skov 9.jpg
Recent afforestation in True Skov

Aarhus Municipality and the city council have attacked the challenges from different angles in a constructive collaboration with private partners. Many new underground rainwater basins have been built across the city in recent years. The two lakes of Årslev Engsø and Egå Engsø were created in 2003 and 2006 respectively. Large expanses of forest have been planted in vulnerable land areas in order to secure drinking water and avoid groundwater pollution from pesticides and other sources.[90] Since 1988, the New Forests of Aarhus have been developed to assist in binding CO2, securing drinking water, protecting groundwater from pollution, dealing with excessive nutrients, increasing biodiversity, creating an attractive countryside, providing easy access to nature and offering outdoor activities to the public. The afforestation plans were realized as a local project in collaboration with private land owners, under a larger national agenda, and there are new afforestation objectives to double the forest cover in Aarhus Municipality, before the year 2030.[91]


File:Aarhus population-1672-2014.svg
Population of Aarhus 1672–2014[92]

Aarhus has a population of 259.754 on 91 km2 (35 sq mi) with a density of 2,854/km2 (7,390/sq mi).[93] Aarhus municipality has a population of 323,893 om 468 km2 with a density of 681/km2 (1,760/sq mi). With some 500,000 people in the neighbouring municipalities comprising the region of East Jutland, the larger urban zone of Aarhus has 845,971 inhabitants.[94] Less than a fifth of the municipal population resides beyond city limits and almost all live in an urban area.[95]

File:Aarhus, Denmark.jpg
Aarhusians relaxing by the river

The population of Aarhus is both younger and better-educated than the national average which can be attributed to the high concentration of educational institutions.[96] More than 40% of the population have an academic degree while only some 14% have no secondary education or trade.[97] The largest age group consists of 20-29 year-olds and the average age is 37.5, making it the youngest city in the country and one of its youngest municipalities.[98][99] Since early 2014 the inner city has also experienced an influx of middle-aged residents, mainly attracted by the cultural institutions, shopping and the many cafés.[100] Women have slightly outnumbered men for many years.[98]

Reported religious affiliation in Aarhus[101]
Affiliation Number % of Pop.
Church of Denmark 233,603 72.12%
No affiliation 74,190 22.91%
Other Christian 7,400 2.28%
Islamic denominations 6,000 1.85%
Hinduism 1,400 0.43%
Other religion 700 0.22%
Buddhism 600 0.19%

The job market in Aarhus is knowledge and service based and the largest employment sectors are healthcare and social services, trade, education, consulting, research, industry and telecommunications.[102] The municipality has more high and middle income jobs, and fewer low income jobs, than the national average.[102]

The city is home to 75 different religious groups and denominations most of which are Christian or Muslim with a smaller number of Buddhist and Hindu communities. Since the 1990s there has been a marked growth in diverse new spiritual groups although the total number of followers remains small.[101] The majority of the population are members of the Protestant state church, Church of Denmark, which is by far the largest religious institution both in the city and the country as a whole. Some 20% of the population are not officially affiliated with any religion, a percentage that has been slowly rising for many years.[103][104]

International communities

Main immigrant groups, 2014[105]
Nationality Population
23x15px Lebanon 4,845
23x15px Somalia 4,307
23x15px Turkey 4,341
Template:Country data Iraq 3,584
23x15px Vietnam 2,551
Template:Country data Iran 2,403
23x15px Poland 2,183
23x15px Germany 2,105
23x15px Afghanistan 1,832
23x15px Romania 1,661

Being a comparatively large Danish city, Aarhus has received a fair share of immigrants from various cultures. Some 14.8% of the population have immigrated from other countries, making it the region with the highest percentage of immigrants in Denmark, outside the Copenhagen area.[106] During the 1990s there was significant immigration from Turkey in particular and in recent years, there has been high growth in the overall immigrant community, from 27,783 people in 1999 to 40,431 in 2008.[107] The majority of immigrants have roots outside Europe and the developed world, comprising some 25,000 people from 130 different nationalities with the largest groups coming from the Middle East and north Africa. Some 15,000 have come from within Europe, with Poland, Germany, Romania and Norway being the largest contributors.[108]

Many immigrants have established themselves in Brabrand, Hasle and Viby, where the percentage of inhabitants with foreign origins has risen by 66% since the year 2000. This has resulted in several 'especially vulnerable residential areas' (a.k.a. ghettos), with Gellerup as the most notable neighbourhood. In Brabrand and Gellerup, two thirds of the population now have a non-Danish ethnic background.[109] The international cultures present in the community are an obvious and visible part of the city's daily life and contribute many cultural flavours hitherto uncommon for the Nordic countries, including Bazar Vest, a market with shopkeepers predominantly of foreign descent.[110]


File:Aarhus docklands by night.jpg
Aarhus city centre in 2013

The economy of Aarhus is predominantly knowledge and service based, strongly influenced by the University of Aarhus and the large healthcare industry. The service sector dominates the economy and is growing as the city is transitioning away from manufacturing. Trade and transportation remain important sectors benefitting from the large port and central position on the rail network. Manufacturing has been in slow but steady decline since the 1960s while agriculture long has been a marginal employer within the municipality.[111] The municipality is home to 175,000 jobs with some 100,000 in the private sector and the rest split between state, region and municipality.[102]

Composition of the labor market - 2002
File:De fem søstre i århus perspetiv korrekt.jpg
Silos from 1927 known as the "Five Sisters"

The region is a major agricultural producer, with many large farms in the outlying districts.[112] Trade and grain exports were an early driver of growth from the 15th century, and later in the 18th century, large industries emerged around the industrial production and refinement of agricultural products, especially oil and butter. Otto Mønsted created the Danish Preserved Butter Company in 1874, focussing on butter export to England, China and Africa and later founded the Aarhus Butterine Company in 1883, the first Danish margarine factory.[113] The industry became an important employer, with factory employees increasing from 100 in 1896 to 1,000 in 1931, effectively transforming the city from a regional trade hub into an industrial centre.[114]

Today the majority of the largest companies in the municipality are in the sectors of trade, transport and media.[115] The wind power industry has strong roots in Aarhus, and the larger region of Midtjylland, and nationally most of the revenue in the industry is generated by companies in the greater Aarhus area. The wind industry employs about a 1,000 people within the municipality making it a central component in the local economy.[116] The biotech industry is well established in the city with many small and medium-sized companies mainly focused on research and development.[117]

The city has become a leading centre for retail in the Nordic and Baltic countries with expansive shopping centres and a dense urban core with many shops.[118] Many commute to Aarhus from as far away as Randers, Silkeborg and Skanderborg and almost a third of those employed within Aarhus municipality commute from neighbouring communities.[119][120][121]

Several major companies have their headquarters in Aarhus such as Arla Foods, one of the largest dairy groups in Europe, Dansk Supermarked, Denmark's largest retailer, Jysk, a world-wide retailer specializing in household goods, bedding, furniture and interior design, Vestas, one of the major wind turbine producers worldwide, and several leading retail companies.[7][122] In total four of the 10 largest companies in the country are based in the municipality. Since the early 2000s the city has experienced an influx of larger companies moving from other parts of the Jutland peninsula.[123][124] Other large employers of note include Krifa (a trades union organisation) and 5R, a telemarketing company, while metallurgy and electronics remain important sectors.[7][125]

Port of Aarhus

The Port of Aarhus is one of the largest industrial ports in Northern Europe with the largest container terminal in Denmark, processing more than 50% of Denmark's container traffic and accommodating the largest container vessels in the world.[126][127] It is a municipal self-governing port with independent finances. The facilities handle some 9.5 million tonnes of cargo a year (2012). Grain is the principal export, while feedstuffs, stone, cement and coal are among the chief imports.[128] Since 2012 the port has faced increasing competition from Port of Hamburg and freight volumes has decreased some from the peak in 2008.[127]

The ferry terminal presents the only alternative to the Great Belt Link for passenger transport between Jutland and Zealand. It has served different ferry companies since the first steamship route to Copenhagen opened in 1830. Currently Mols-Linien operates the route and annually transports some 2 million passengers and a million vehicles. Additional roll-on/roll-off cargo ferries serve Finland and Kalundborg on a weekly basis and smaller outlying Danish ports on irregular intervals. Since the early 2000s the port has increasingly become a destination for cruise lines operating in the Baltic Sea.[129]


The ARoS Art Museum, the Old Town Museum and Tivoli Friheden are among Denmark's top tourist attractions.[130] With a combined total of almost 1.4 million visitors they represent the driving force behind tourism but other venues such as Moesgård Museum and Kvindemuseet are also popular. The city's extensive shopping facilities are also said to be a major attraction for tourists, as are festivals, especially NorthSide and SPOT.[131][132] Many visitors arrive on cruise ships: in 2012, 18 vessels visited the port with over 38,000 passengers.[133]

File:6144361975 f629303e7b o.jpg
The Costa Pacifica in the harbor.

In the 2010s there has been a significant expansion of tourist facilities, culminating in the opening of the 240-room Comwell Hotel in July 2014, which increased the number of hotel rooms in the city by 25%. Some estimates put the number of visitors spending at least one night as high as 750,000 a year, most of them Danes from other regions, the remainder coming mainly from Norway, Sweden, northern Germany and the United Kingdom. Overall, they spend about DKK 3 billion ($540 million) in the city each year.[134] The primary motivation for tourists choosing Aarhus as a destination is experiencing the city and culture, family and couples vacation or as a part of a roundtrip in Denmark. The average stay is little more than three days on average.[134]

There are more than 30 tourist information spots across the city, some of them staffed, while others are on-line, publicly accessible touch screens. The official tourist information service in Aarhus is organized under VisitAaarhus, a corporate foundation initiated in 1994 by Aarhus Municipality and local commercial interest organizations.[135][136][137]

Research parks

File:DAIMI AU.jpg
IT City Katrinebjerg.

Over the past ten years, Aarhus has been one of Denmark's most rapidly developing centres of research in information technology, energy, media, life sciences, food, architecture and design.[138][139] Enterprises in the Information and communications technology (ICT) sphere work in collaboration with the city's research institutes. In 2007 the three largest research parks of Forskerpark Aarhus (Science Park Aarhus), Forskerpark Skejby (Science Park - Skejby) and IT-Huset Katrinebjerg, merged to form INCUBA Science Park. Forskerpark Skejby, which works in the field of biomedical research, and the Katrinebjerg department - focussing on ICT - has since been expanded and in 2014 the new department of INCUBA Navitas opened on the Aarhus Docklands.[140]

One of the major research companies is Systematic A/S, working in the public sector, healthcare and defence.[141] The IT City Katrinebjerg, fosters collaboration between research, education and industry through the university branches of Department of Computer Science, Department of Aesthetics and Communication and Alexandra Institutet.[142] In the clean energy sector, Aarhus is home to leading participants including Vestas, AVK, Amplex and Kamstrup.[143] The new Navitas Park at the docklands, is a new information and innovation park bringing together players in the energy, environment and building sectors.[138][144] The centre is sponsored by Aarhus University School of Engineering, Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering (AAMS) and INCUBA.[145][146]


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Panoramic view of the Aarhus skyline seen from the top of ARoS.

Aarhus has developed in stages, from the Viking age to modern times, all visible in the city today. Many architectural styles are represented in different parts of the city such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, National Romantic, Nordic classicism, Neoclassical, Empire and Functionalism.[147] The city has grown up around the main transport hubs, the harbour and later the railway station. As a result, the oldest parts of the city are also the most central and busiest today.

The streets Volden (lit Rampart) and Graven (lit. Moat) testify to the defences of the initial Viking settlement and Allégaderingen in Midtbyen roughly follows the boundaries of that settlement. The street network in the inner city formed during the Middle Ages with narrow, curved streets and low, dense housing by the river and coast. Vesterport (lit. Western Gate) still bears the name of a medieval city gate and the narrow alleyways Posthussmøgen and Telefonsmøgen are remnants of toll stations from that time.[148] The inner city has the oldest preserved houses, especially the Latin Quarter, with buildings dating back to the early 17th century in Mejlgade and Skolegade.[25] Medieval merchants' mansions with courtyards can be seen in Klostergade, Studsgade and Skolegade.


The cathedral school was founded in 1195 and ranks as the 44th oldest school in the world.[149] Aarhus Cathedral (Århus Domkirke) is the longest cathedral in Denmark at Script error: No such module "convert"., originally built as a Romanesque basilica in the 13th century and rebuilt and enlarged as a Gothic cathedral in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.[150] The Church of our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke) from the 13th century in Romanesque and Gothic style was the first cathedral in Aarhus and includes the oldest stone church in Scandinavia from 1060.[151][152][153][154] Langelandsgade Kaserne from 1889 is the oldest complete military barracks left in the country. The military vacated the buildings in 1989 with the end of the Cold War to be replaced by the university Department of Aesthetics and Communication. [155] [156] [157] Marselisborg Palace (Marselisborg Slot), designed by Hack Kampmann in Neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles, was donated by the city to Prince Christian and Princess Alexandrine as a wedding present in 1898.[158][159] The Aarhus Custom House (Toldkammeret) from 1898, is said to be Hack Kampmann's finest work.[160]

File:Bispetorv i århus.jpg
Bispetorv in the historic centre

Tivoli Friheden (lit. Tivoli Freedom) opened in 1903 and has since been the amusement park of the city. Aarhus Theatre from 1916 in the Art Nouveau style is the largest provincial theatre in Denmark.[161][162] The early buildings of Aarhus University, especially the main building completed in 1932, designed by Kay Fisker, Povl Stegmann and by C.F. Møller have gained an international reputation for their contribution to functionalist architecture.[163] The City Hall (Aarhus Rådhus) from 1941 with an iconic Script error: No such module "convert". tower clad in marble, was designed by Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller in a modern Functionalist style.


Selected as European Capital of Culture in 2017, Aarhus prides itself on offering a combination of innovation, media and communication together with architecture and design, and has a wide variety of cultural institutions.[164] The city has the youngest population in the country, hosts many annual cultural events and festivals, museums and theatres and presents some of the largest attractions in Denmark. There is a long tradition in music, with many popular bands having had their beginnings in Aarhus. The city is a member of the ICORN organization (International Cities of Refugee Network) in an effort to provide a safe haven to authors and writers persecuted in their countries of origin.[165][166] The State and University Library (Statsbiblioteket) has the status of a national library.[167]


Aarhus has many museums and two of the largest in the country measured by the number of visitors, Den Gamle By and ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum. Den Gamle By (The Old Town), officially Danmarks Købstadmuseum (Denmark's Market Town Museum), presents life in market towns from the 16th century to the present with individual areas focused on different periods from the 16th century to the 20th century. Some 75 historic buildings from different periods and parts of Denmark have been brought here to form a small town in its own right.[168][169]

ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, the city's main art museum is one of the largest art museums in Scandinavia with a collection covering Danish art from the 18th century to the present day as well as paintings and sculptures by international artists. The iconic glass structure on the roof, Your Rainbow Panorama, was designed by Olafur Eliasson and features a promenade offering a colourful panorama of the city.[170][171]

The Moesgård Museum specializes in archaeology and ethnography in collaboration with Aarhus University with exhibits on Denmark's prehistory, including weapon sacrifices from Illerup Ådal and the Grauballe Man.[172] Kvindemuseet, the Women's Museum, from 1984 contains collections of the lives and works of women in Danish cultural history.[173] the Besættelsesmuseum (Occupation Museum) presents exhibits illustrating the German occupation of the city during the Second World War;[174] the University Park on the campus of Aarhus University includes the Naturhistorisk Museum (Natural History Museum) with over 5,000 species of animals, many in their natural surroundings;[175] and the Steno Museum is a museum of the history of science and medicine with a planetarium.[176] Kunsthal Aarhus (Aarhus Art Hall) hosts exhibitions of contemporary art including painting, sculpture, photography, performance art, film and video.[177]

Performing arts

The city enjoys strong musical traditions, both classical and modern, with educational and performance institutions such as the concert halls of Musikhuset, the opera of Den Jyske Opera, Aarhus Symfoniorkester (Aarhus Symphony Orchestra) and Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium (Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg). Musikhuset is the largest concert hall in Scandinavia, with seating for 3,000 people. Other major music venues include VoxHall, rebuilt in 1999, the recently opened Atlas, and Godsbanen, a former railway station.[178][179]

Since the 1970s, the city has seen major developments on the rock scene, with the arrival of many acclaimed bands such as Kliché, Under Byen, Gnags, TV-2, Michael Learns to Rock, Nephew, Carpark North, Spleen United, VETO, Hatesphere and Illdisposed in addition to popular individual performers like Thomas Helmig, Anne Linnet and Medina. Since 2010 the music production centre of PROMUS (Produktionscentret for Rytmisk Musik) has supported the rock scene in the city along with the publicly funded ROSA (Dansk Rock Samråd), which promotes Danish rock music in general.[180]

The acting scene in Aarhus is diverse, with many groups and venues including Aarhus Teater, Svalegangen, EntréScenen, Katapult, Gruppe 38, Godsbanen, Helsingør Teater, Det Andet Teater[181] and Teater Refleksion as well as several dance venues like Bora Bora and Granhøj Dans.[182][183] The city hosts a biannual international theatre festival, International Living Theatre, the next event being scheduled for May 2015.[184] The former goods station of Aarhus Godsbanegård has recently been thoroughly renovated and expanded with a new building. Now known as Godsbanen, it functions as a cultural centre, and offers numerous workshops for the artist community and local citizens.[178]

Events and festivals

The city hosts many annual or recurring festivals, concerts and other events. NorthSide Festival founded in 2010 has grown from a one-day event to a three-day festival in three years and had 25,000 visitors in 2014.[185][186] The eight-day Aarhus International Jazz Festival founded in 1988 features jazz in venues across the city.[187] The wide-ranging Aarhus Festuge, the largest multicultural festival in Scandinavia always based on a special theme, takes place every year from late August to early September.[188][189] The Spot festival is an annual music festival that aims to showcase up-and-coming Danish and Scandinavian talent. The Grøn Koncert music festival is an annual festival, run by a support organisation for muscular dystrophy sufferers, that takes place every year in many Danish cities. Danmarks grimmeste festival (lit. Denmark's ugliest Festival) is a small music festival held each summer in Skjoldhøjkilen, Brabrand. Sculpture by the Sea is an annual outdoor month-long art exhibition on the beaches of Aarhus.

The city actively promotes its visible gay and lesbian community and holds the annual Aarhus Pride gay pride festival.[190] The Aarhus Festuge festival usually includes several exhibits, concerts or events specifically designed for these communities. There are several clubs, discos and cafés aimed at gays and lesbians, including Danish D-lite (sports), G bar (disco) or Gaia Vandreklub (hiking club).

Recreation and parks

File:Kirsebærtræerne i Mindeparken.JPG
Cherry trees in Mindeparken

Aarhus has an unusually high number of parks, 134 of them, covering a total area of around Script error: No such module "convert"..[191] The beech forests of Riis Skov and Marselisborg occupy the nearby hills to the north and south and beaches dot the coastline from the central Den Permanente to the boundaries of the municipality.[192] The mild, temperate marine climate allows outdoor recreation most of the year, including walking, cycling, hiking, kayaking, mountainbiking, rock climbing, motor boating, sailing and team sports. People walk or cycle along recreational paths stretching from the city center to and around Brabrand Lake and walk along the coast to the forests and along the bluffs and beaches. Also popular are hiking and mountainbiking on marked routes in the forests and kayaking and sailing in the bay.[193][194]

The Botanical Gardens (Botanisk Have) from 1873 is the largest and oldest park. Originally used to cultivate fruit trees and other useful plants for the local inhabitants it has a significant collection of trees and bushes including a section devoted to Danish plants from different habitats and regions.[195] Its recently renovated tropical and subtropical greenhouses exhibit exotic plants from throughout the world.[196] The Memorial Park (Mindeparken) on the coast offers a panoramic view across the bay and is popular with locals for outings or picnics.[197][198] Marselisborg Deer Park (Marselisborg Dyrehave) extends over Script error: No such module "convert". of woodland pastures with free-roaming sika and roe deer.[199] Marienlyst Park (Marienlystparken) is one of the largest in the city with both wooded areas and open grasslands.[200] Other notable parks include City Hall Park (Rådhusparken) and the undulating University Park.[201][202]


Aarhus has a large variety of restaurants and eateries offering food from traditional Danish to international foods especially Middle Eastern and Asian.[203] Among the oldest are Rådhuscafeen (lit. City Hall Café), opened in 1924, serving a menu of traditional Danish courses and Peter Gift from 1906, a tavern with an international beer selection and a menu of smørrebrød and other Danish dishes.[204][205]

Appraised high-end gourmet restaurants serving international cuisine include Fredrikshøj, Restaurant Varna, Miró, Nordisk Spisehus, Det Glade Vanvid, La Pyramide, Restaurant ET or Dauphine, all considered among the best in Denmark.[206][207] Well established speciality places include the relaxed Ris Ras Filliongongong offering waterpipes and an award winning beer selection, the wine and book café of Løve's in Nørregade, Sherlock Holmes, a British-style pub with live music, the brew pub of Sct. Clemens with A Hereford Beefstouw restaurant and Thorups Kælder, a tavern located in rooms built by Cistercian monks in the 1300s.[208][209][210][211]

Vendors of street food are numerous throughout the centre often using small trailers on permanent locations formally known as Pølsevogne (lit. Sausage Wagons). Traditionally serving a Danish variety of hot dogs, sausages and other fast food there are increasingly more outlets inspired by international flavours such as sushi, kebab and currywurst. [212][213] The city centre is packed with cafés especially along the river and the Latin quarters. Well-known and typical establishments include Café Casablanca, Café Carlton, Café Cross and Gyngen.[214]


File:Dk og isbjerget.png
Sailsports in the Aarhus Bay, 2014
Club Sport League Venue (capacity) Founded Titles Attendance
Aarhus Gymnastik Forening Soccer 1st Division NRGi Park (20,032) 1880 5 23,990[215]
Aarhus GF Håndbold Handball Danish Handball League NRGi Arena (4,700) 2001 9[216] 4,700[217]
Bakken Bears Basketball Danish Basketball League Vejlby-Risskov Hallen (1,800) 1962 14 2,500[218]

Aarhus has three major men's professional sports teams: the 1st Division's Aarhus Gymnastik Forening (AGF), Danish Handball League's Aarhus GF Håndbold, and Danish Basketball League's Bakken Bears. Notable or historic clubs include Aarhus 1900, Idrætsklubben Skovbakken and Aarhus Sejlklub. NRGi Park has hosted matches in the premiere Danish soccer league since it was formed in 1920 and matches for the national men's soccer team in 2006 and 2007.[219] The five sailing clubs routinely win national and international titles in a range of disciplines. The future national watersports stadium will be located on the waterfront in the city centre.[220][221] The Bakken Bears have most recently won the Danish basketball championships in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The municipality actively supports sports organizations in and around the city, providing public organizations that aim to attract major sporting events and strengthen professional sports.[222] The National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark counts some 380 sports organizations within the municipality and about one third of the population are members of one.[223] Soccer is by far the most popular sport followed by Gymnastics, Handball and Badminton.[223]

File:Aarhus stadion.jpg
The Aarhus stadium, NRGI Arena

In recent decades, many free and public sports facilities have sprung up across the city, such as street football, basketball, climbing walls, skateboarding and beach volley. Several natural sites also offer green exercise, with exercise equipment installed along the paths and tracks reserved for mountainbiking. The newly reconstructed area of Skjoldhøjkilen is a prime example.[224]

Aarhus has hosted many sporting events including the 2010 European Women's Handball Championship, the 2014 European Men's Handball Championship, the 2013 Men`s European Volleyball Championships, the 2005 European Table Tennis Championships, the Denmark Open in badminton, the UCI Women's Road Cycling World Cup, the 2006 World Orienteering Championships, the 2006 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and the GF World Cup (women's handball).[225] Aarhus is host to one or two international sailing competitions every year and has recently hosted the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in 2008. In 2018 the city will host the ISAF Sailing World Championships, the world championship for the 12 olympic sailing disciplines and an important qualifier for the 2020 Olympics.[226]


Aarhus is the principal centre for education in the Jutland region. It draws students from a large area, especially from the western and southern parts of the peninsula. The relatively large influx of young people and students creates a natural base for cultural activities.[227] Aarhus has the greatest concentration of students in Denmark, fully 12% of those living there attending short, medium or long courses of study. In addition to around 25 institutions of higher education, several research forums have evolved to assist in the transfer of expertise from education to business.[228]

On 1 January 2012 Aarhus University (AU) was the largest university in Denmark by number of students enlisted.[229] It is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world by several of the most influential and respected rankings. The university has approximately 41,500 Bachelor and Master students enlisted as well as about 1,500 Ph.D. students.[229] It is possible to engage in higher academic studies in many areas, from the traditional spheres of natural science, language and theology to more vocational academic areas like engineering and dentistry.[230] Aarhus Technical College is one of the largest business academies in Denmark, teaching undergraduate study programmes in English, including vocational education and training (VET), continuing vocational training (CVT), and human resource development.[231] The Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) is the oldest and largest of the colleges, offering journalism courses since 1946. In 2014 it had approximately 1,700 students. In 1974 it became an independent institution conducting research and teaching at undergraduate level. In 2004, the school collaborated with Aarhus University to establish the Centre for University studies in Journalism, offering master’s courses in journalism, and granting degrees through the university.[232]

File:Institut for Idræt (Aarhus).jpg
Institute for Sports, established in 2008 under Aarhus University.[233]

The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus (Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium) is a conservatoire which was established under the auspices of the Danish Ministry of Culture in 1927. In 2010 it merged with the Royal Academy of Music in Aalborg, which was founded in 1930.[234] Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik, it offers graduate level studies in areas such as music teaching, and solo and professional musicianship. VIA University College, established in January 2008, is one of eight new regional organizations offering bachelor courses of all kinds throughout the Central Denmark Region. It offers over 50 higher education in Danish or sometimes in English, with vocational education and participating in various research and development projects.[235] Aarhus School of Architecture (Arkitektskolen Aarhus) was founded in 1965. Along with the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts of Copenhagen, it is responsible for the education of architects in Denmark. With an enrolment of approximately 900 students, it teaches in five main departments: architecture and aesthetics, urban and landscape, architectonic heritage, design and architectural design.[236] Also of note is KaosPilots and several other higher education centres.



Aarhus Airport, with only a few scheduled flights each day, is located Script error: No such module "convert". north-east of Aarhus in Tirstrup.[237] The much larger Billund Airport is situated Script error: No such module "convert". south-west of Aarhus.[238] There has been much discussion about constructing a better airport for Aarhus, but so far, the plans have not been realized.[239] In August 2014, the city council officially initiated a process to assert the viability of a new international airport.[240]

The main railway station in Aarhus is Aarhus Central Station located in the city centre. DSB has connections to destinations throughout Denmark and beyond. Two local railways provide commuter services to Lemvig and Odder.[241] The Aarhus Letbane is a planned tram-train project which will link two railway lines with a new light rail route through the city.[242] Most city bus lines go through the inner city and pass through either Park Alle or Banegårdspladsen (lit. English: "Central Station Square") or both.[243] County and Inter-city buses terminate at Aarhus Bus Terminal which is located 900 meters north-west of Banegårdspladsen, and in front of the Radisson SAS Scandinavia hotel at Margrethepladsen.[244] The long-distance busses of linie888 connect Aarhus to other cities in Jutland and Zealand.[245]

The Danish ferry company Mols-Linien connects Aarhus with Copenhagen, on the island of Zealand, with rapid ferry connections to Sjællands Odde.[246] Ferries operating between Aarhus and Sjællands Odden include HSC KatExpress 1 and HSC KatExpress 2, the world's largest diesel powered catamarans,[247] and HSC Max Mols all of which cater to foot passengers, private vehicles and trucks.

Aarhus has a free bike sharing system, Aarhus Bycykler (Aarhus City Bikes). The bicycles are available from 1 April to 30 October at 57 stands throughout the city and can be obtained by placing a DKK 20 coin in the release slot, like caddies in a supermarket. The coin can be retrieved when the bike is returned. Bicycles can also be hired from many shops.[248]


File:PsykiatriskHospital Risskov2.jpg
Risskov Psychiatric Hospital

Aarhus University Hospital is one of the country's most specialized hospitals with sophisticated equipment and highly qualified staff. For each of the past three years, it has been ranked as Denmark's best hospital.[249] The new hospital founded in 2011 has some 1,150 beds and a staff of about 10,000. It is the result of a merger between the former Århus Universitetshospital, Århus Sygehus and Skejby Sygehus. In the spring of 1999 the university hospital in conjunction with the Aarhus county authorities founded the Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics.[250] The hospital collaborates with the Psychiatric Hospital in Risskov, which also conducts psychiatric research.[251] In October 2009, work started on the construction of a large new hospital and headquarters in Skejby, on what has become the largest construction site in Denmark.[252][253] Scheduled to be completed in 2019, the New University Hospital (DNU) will be the largest hospital in the country and will serve patients from all over Central Denmark Region.[254]

Ciconia Aarhus Private Hospital is a leading Danish fertility clinic with a significant sperm bank. Originally founded in 1984, it opened as the first clinic of its kind in Denmark. Ciconia has provided for the birth of 6,000 children by artificial insemination and continually conducts research into the field of fertility.[255] Aagaard Klinik, established in April 2004, is another private clinic in the city which specializes in fertility and gynaecology. In 2013 it treated 2,920 patients and by 2013 was responsible for the birth of 1,900 children through fertility treatment.[256] Aarhus Municipality also offers a number of specialized services in the areas of nutrition, exercise, sex, smoking and drinking, activities for the elderly, health courses and life style.[257]


The Aarhus Søsterhøj TV tower, height Script error: No such module "convert".

Established in 1871, the daily newspaper Jyllandsposten (today known as Jyllands-Posten) takes a generally right-wing editorial approach. With a reputation as a serious news publication, the paper has always included news from Jutland, somewhat less so since its promotion as a national newspaper (Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten) in the 1960s. Today it is one of the three leading serious newspapers in Denmark, the others being Berlingske and Politiken.[258] The first daily newspaper in Aarhus was Århus Stiftstidende, once one of Denmark's largest,[259] established in 1794 as Aarhuus Stifts Adresse-Contoirs Tidender. With a moderately conservative approach, for a time it was a leading provincial newspaper, but after the Second World War it increasingly faced competition from Demokraten (1884-1974) and Jyllands-Posten, both published in Aarhus. In 1998, it merged with Randers Amtsavis and is now run by Midtjyske Medier, part of Berlingske Media.[260]

Danmarks Radio has a large department in Aarhus with over 200 employees. It runs the DR Østjylland radio programme, provides local contributions to DR P4, and produces local regional television programmes.[261] In 1990, TV 2 established its Jutlandic headquarters in Randers but moved to Skejby in northern Aarhus in 1999. The station broadcasts regional news and current affairs television and radio programmes. Since 2012, it has run its own TV channel, TV 2 Østjylland.[262] Aarhus has its own local TV channel TVAarhus, transmitting since 1984.[263][264] After an agreement on 1 July 2014, TVAarhus can be watched by 130.000 households in Aarhus, making it the largest cable transmitted local TV channel in Denmark.[265]

With over 1,700 students, The Danish School of Media and Journalism (Danmarks Medie- og Journalisthøjskole) is the country's largest and oldest school of journalism. The school works closely with Aarhus University where the first journalism course was established in 1946. In 2004, the two institutions established the Centre for University Studies in Journalism, which offers master's courses.[266]

Twin towns—Sister cities

Aarhus is twinned with seven foreign cities. Originally, the cities mostly co-operated within the spheres of public schools, culture and welfare, but now the co-operation is extended to also cover commercial interests.[267]

Notable people





Music and culture



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