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 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.
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In the 900s an earth rampart for the defence of the early city was constructed, encircling the settlement, much like the defence structures found at Viking ring fortresses elsewhere.
The rampart was later reinforced by Harald Bluetooth, and together with the town's geographical placement, this suggests that Aros was an important trade and military centre.
The charter is the first official recognition of the town as a regional power and is by some considered Aarhus' birth certificate.
The official and religious status spurred growth so in 1477 the defensive earthen ramparts, ringing the town since the Viking age, were abandoned to accommodate expansion.
As the industrial revolution took hold, the city grew to become the second-largest in the country by the 20th century.