This article is about the city in Denmark. For the convention on public participation, see Aarhus Convention. For the meteorite, see Aarhus (meteorite).
300px Montage of Aarhus   view from city hall%2C city hall by night%2C isbjerget%2C jul p%C3%A5 str%C3%B8get Wikipedia info guide tourism
From top and left to right: Aarhus skyline, Aarhus City Hall, Isbjerget, Christman in Aarhus
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Location in Denmark
Coordinates: 56°09′N 10°13′E / 56.150°N 10.217°E / 56.150; 10.217
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 259,754
 • Urban density 2,854/km2 (7,390/sq mi)
 • Municipal 323,893
 • Municipal density 681/km2 (1,760/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] (13px Speaker Icon.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism )) is the second-largest city in Denmark and the country's main port. It is located on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula in the geographical centre of Denmark. By road it lies 187 kilometres (116 mi) northwest of Copenhagen, 39 kilometres (24 mi) south of Randers and 143 kilometres (89 mi) north of Odense. It has 259,754 inhabitants (1 January 2014) in the inner urban area and is the seat of Aarhus Municipality of 323,893 inhabitants. The larger urban zone holds a population of 845.971. with a population of 1.26 million people in the East Jutland metropolitan area.[3][4] Aarhus claims the unofficial title of "Capital of Jutland".[5]

Aarhus is one of the oldest towns in Denmark, with settlements dated to the late 8th century and a bishopric from at least 948. By the end of the Middle Ages, it had also grown to become one of the largest towns in the country. Trading and seafaring continued to flourish until the 1570s, when growth stagnated. Grain exports initiated a new period of prosperity in the mid-18th century. Factories of various types were established and, from 1810, the harbour was expanded. Regular steamship links with Copenhagen began in 1830, and Jutland's first railway was established in 1862 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, soon making it Denmark's largest provincial city. With the establishment of Aarhus University in 1928, the city continued to grow, becoming the most important business centre in Jutland by the 1950s. During World War II, the Gestapo had their Danish headquarters in the city and kept their archives there until they were destroyed during a raid in October 1944. Today Aarhus is Denmark's second most important centre of research and education, and the electronics and metallurgy sectors have also continued to expand.

Aarhus Cathedral is the longest cathedral in Denmark with a total length of 93 m (305 ft). The Church of our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke) was originally built in 1060, making it the oldest stone church in Scandinavia. The City Hall, designed by Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller, was completed in 1941 in a modern functionalist style. Aarhus Theatre, the largest provincial theatre in Denmark opposite the cathedral on Bispetorvet, was built by Hack Kampmann in the Art Nouveau style and completed in 1916. Musikhuset Aarhus (concert hall) and Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium (Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg) are also of note, as are its museums including the open-air museum Den Gamle By, the art museum ARoS, the Moesgård Museum and the women's museum Kvindemuseet.

Sports clubs such as Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF), Aarhus 1900, Aarhus Fremad and Idrætsklubben Skovbakken are based in Aarhus, and it is home to the basketball team Bakken Bears, two American football clubs, Aarhus Frogs and Århus Tigers, and the Division 1-ranked ice hockey team IK Århus.

Aarhus Airport, with only a few scheduled flights each day, is located 40 km (25 mi) north-east of Aarhus in Tirstrup but the city is also served by the large international Billund Airport in central Jutland. Aarhus is served by commuter rail services connecting the city with neighbouring towns; the main station is Aarhus Central Station, located in the city centre. The ferry company Mols-Linien connects Aarhus with Zealand.


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.[6]

In Valdemar's Census Book (1231) the city was called Arus, and in Icelandic it was known as Aros, later written as Aars.[7] 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").[8] The name originates from the city's location around the mouth of the stream Aarhus Å (Aarhus River).[9][10] The spelling "Aarhus" is first found in 1406 and gradually became the norm in the 17th century.[7]

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.[11] 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 January 1, 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".[9] 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.[12]


Early history

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The Viking Age town, enclosed by defence ramparts and palisade (North is left).
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Reconstruction of an early church at Moesgaard Museum. This is not the early Holy Trinity Church.

Aarhus was founded in the early Viking Age and is one of the oldest cities in Denmark, along with Ribe and Hedeby.[13]

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.[14][15] 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.[16] Archaeologists have conducted several excavations in the inner city since the 1960ies 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, has been found.[17] Some of them are on display at the Viking Museum.[18]

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.[19] 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 is strong indications of a former royal residence from the Viking Age in Viby, a few kilometres south of the Aarhus city center.[20]

The bishopric of Aarhus dates back to at least 948, when written sources mentions the bishop of Reginbrand attending the synod of Ingelheim in Germany.[21] The bishopric and the town's geographical location propelled a prosperous growth and development of the early medieval town.[22] The finding of six runestones in and around Aarhus indicates the city had some significance around year 1000, as only wealthy nobles traditionally used them.[23] 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.[14][24]

Middle Ages – 18th century

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The Aarhus city seal from 1421 and 1608

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 a lot of buildings in and around the city early on and the international contacts secured good trading opportunities, with Germany and Norway for example.[22] The oldest existing charter granting it 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.[25][26]

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Aarhus seen from north, 1768, engraving

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 and city gates and toll booths 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 that became favored among traders and large merchants quarters rose up at the ends of these streets.[27]

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.[26] 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.[28]

19th century

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Aarhus viewed from the hills of Riis Skov, 1850

Denmark supported France during the Napoleonic wars (1803–1815) and was subsequently excluded from international trade for some years and 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 electoral laws were reformed and the first elections for the 15 seats in the city council were held. The rules were initially very strict allowing only the wealthiest citizens to run and in 1844 only 174 citizens qualified out of a total population of more than 7000.[29] 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 so in 1840 construction of the new industrial harbour on the coast, north of the river, begun. Over the next 15 years this became the largest industrial harbour outside Copenhagen. The new harbour was from the onset controlled by the city council which it remains to this day.[30]

220px Preussiske soldater inddriver kv%C3%A6g ved Domkirken. Set fra Mejlgade %28Kunstner Hans Frederik Meyer Visby%29 1864 Wikipedia info guide tourism
Prussian soldiers herding cattle by Aarhus cathedral, 1864

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.[31] 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. 15 years later during the Second Schleswig War the city was again occupied, from 28 April 1864 to 20 November.[32][33]

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.[30] 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, and in an effort to compensate the city annexed large land areas and developed quarters like Trøjborg, Frederiksbjerg and Marselisborg.[34]

Throughout the later half of the century new industries were established, many of which would come to leave prominent and 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).[35][36][37] In 1896 local farmers and businessmen joined forces to create the interest company of KFK (Korn- og Foderstof Kompagniet), focussing on grain and feedstuffs. KFK soon established departments all over the country, while the headquarters remained at the Aarhus harbour, where the large grain silos still dominate today.[38][39][40]

Some of the largest enterprises in Aarhus in the 19th century, were Frichs Maskinfabrik (engines), Jern- og Metalstøberi (foundry) and Mønsted Margarinefabrik (margarine) and there was a considerable export of butter.[28][41]

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

220px Ryesgade%2C Aarhus%2C May 1945. The resistance rounds up collaborators%2C Cheering crowds celebrate. Wikipedia info guide tourism
Danish resistance celebrations in Aarhus, May 1945
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The bombed Gestapo headquarters on 31 October 1944

On April 9, 1940, German troops invaded Denmark and occupied the city, establishing their headquarters in the university and from 1943 Gestapo based their headquarters for Jutland here as well. In the later years of the war Aarhus became an important transport hub for seaborne supplies to Norway. On July 4, 1944 a freight barge loaded with ammunition exploded in the harbor killing 33 people and causing significant destruction to the harbor area.[42]

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.[43] 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.[44][45]

Several Schalburgtage operations took place between 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.[46]

Post-war period

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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 center 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.[47] 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.[48]

From 1980 onwards the city experienced constant growth especially in the student population that had tripled between 1965 and 1977 and continued to grow.[49] The late 20th century became a period of creativity for the city and international brands such as Gaffa and the KaosPilot school was 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 at the time.[50][51]

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.[52]

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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 the land-use composition, as many old industrial sites here are being redeveloped. Chief among them, starting in 2007, the former docklands are being converted to a new mixed residential, commercial and recreational area dubbed "Aarhus Ø" to accommodate 7,000 new residents and 12,000 jobs.[53] 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[54] with construction initiated in 2012. The former DSB train repair facilities at the square of Frederiks Plads close to the railway station, has been demolished and is now under development into a small business district with high-rise buildings scheduled for completion in 2017.[55][56] 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.[57][58]

Construction of the first light rail system in the city commenced in 2013, with the first increment to be finished in 2017.[59] The light rail system is planned to eventually tie many of the suburbs closer to central Aarhus and the next phase will connect a large planned suburb west of Lisbjerg.[60][61]


Aarhus is located on the Bay of Aarhus on the eastern shore of the Jutland peninsula, 187 kilometres (116 mi) northwest of Copenhagen, 39.5 kilometres (24.5 mi) south of Randers, 143 kilometres (89 mi) north of Odense, and 119 kilometres (74 mi) southeast of Aalborg by road.[62] Aarhus faces the Kattegat to the east and the peninsulas of Mols and Helgenæs across the bay to the north and east. The city grew around the harbor in a semicircle initially with Frederiksbjerg, Trøjborg and Vesterbro coalescing into what would later become known as Midtbyen (Central). In the early 20th century sorrounding towns were incorporated to become the borroughs of Risskov, Christiansbjerg, Hasle, Åbyhøj and Viby J.

Surrounding areas


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Egådalen. A broad and flat valley, marking the northern limits of Aarhus

The bay has a depth of 10 m (33 ft) 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.[26] 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[63] and Riis Skov to the north.[64] Several larger lakes extend west from the Skanderborg railway junction and rise to heights exceeding 152 metres (499 ft) at Himmelbjerget.[65]

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 include 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).[66][67][68][69]


Aarhus is in the humid continental climate zone (Köppen: Dfb) [70] 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 May and April, warmer summer months from June to August, frequently rainy and windy fall months in October and September and cooler winter months, often with snow and frost, from December to March. The city center 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 center 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.[71] Average temperature over the year is 8.43 °C (47 °F) 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 in June to August but it's not uncommon for beaches to register 25 degrees locally.[72][73]

The geography in the area affect 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. The 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.[74]

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.[75]

Climate data for East Jutland (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 2.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.2
Average low °C (°F) −2.7
Precipitation mm (inches) 60
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1mm) 11 8 10 9 9 9 10 10 11 11 13 12 123
Mean monthly sunshine hours 41 68 112 164 208 212 194 190 130 86 59 43 1,506
Source: Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

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.[76]

The city council consists of 31 members elected for 4-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, 2 deputy mayors and 5 councilmen.[77] The city is divided into six minor administrative bodies which together constitute the magistrate led by the mayor and the five councilmen as political and administrative directors. It is the only Danish city with a magistrate structure.[78] The six magistrate departments of the city are the "Mayor's Magistrate", "Social and Employment Magistrate", "Technology and Environment Magistrate", "Health and Social Magistrate", "Culture and Service Magistrate" and "Children and Youth Magistrate" and handle all the day-to-day operations of the city.[79]

Aarhus got the first publicly elected mayor in 1919 and since then all have been members of the Social Democrats, except for Louise Gade elected in 2002 who were also the first female mayor. The gender composition of the council has been steadily rising in favor of women through the years and currently 14 of 31 members are women.[80]

The Mayor of Aarhus until 2015 is Jacob Bundsgaard of the Social Democrats.[81]

Party political make-up of Aarhus Council[82]
   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 2 1 1 2 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

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Aarhus municipality with districts

Aarhus have four electoral districts, Electoral District North, Electoral District East, Electoral District South and Electoral District West.[83]

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 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 Aarhus C together with Marselisborg, Langenæs and the university campus. Katrinebjerg resides 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.[62]

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.[84][85] In accordance with national policy, Aarhus aims to be CO2 neutral and independent of fossil fuels for heating by 2030.[86] 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.[87]

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.[88][89][90] 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 pollutions 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.[91]

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Recent afforestation in True Skov, one of the New Forests of Aarhus

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.[92] 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.[93]

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 neighboring communitites.[94][95]


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Population of Aarhus 1672–2014[96]

Aarhus have a population of 259.754 on 91 km2 (35 sq mi) with a density of 2,854/km2 (7,390/sq mi), the most densely populated urban area of Denmark.[97] Aarhus municipality have 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 neighboring municipalities, that comprise the region of East Jutland, the larger urban zone of Aarhus counts 845.971 people.[98] Less than a fifth of the municipal population resides beyond city limits and almost all lives within an urban area.[99]

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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.[100] More than 40% of the population have an academic degree while only some 14% have no secondary education or trade.[101] The largest age group is 20-29 year olds and the average age is 37.5 uears, making it the youngest city in the country and one of the youngest municipalities.[102][103] 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.[104] Women have slightly outnumbered men for many years.[102]

Reported religious affiliation in Aarhus[105]
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.[106] The municipality have more high and middle income jobs, and fewer low income jobs, than the national average.[106]

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 90s there have been a marked growth in diverse new spiritual groups although the total number of followers remains small.[105] The majority of the population is a member 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 number that have been slowly rising for many years.[107][108]

International communities

Main immigrant groups, 2014[109]
Nationality Population
23px Flag of Lebanon.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism Lebanon 4,845
23px Flag of Somalia.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism Somalia 4,307
23px Flag of Turkey.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism Turkey 4,341
23px Flag of Iraq.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism Iraq 3,584
23px Flag of Vietnam.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism Vietnam 2,551
23px Flag of Iran.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism Iran 2,403
23px Flag of Poland.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism Poland 2,183
23px Flag of Germany.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism Germany 2,105
23px Flag of Afghanistan.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism Afghanistan 1,832
23px Flag of Romania.svg Wikipedia info guide tourism Romania 1,661

Being a comparatively large Danish city, Aarhus has received a fair share of immigrants from various other 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.[110] During the 1990s there was significant immigration from Turkey in particular and in recent years, it has seen high growth of the overall immigrant community, from 27,783 people in 1999 to 40,431 in 2008.[111] 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.[112]

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' (aka ghettos), with Gellerup as the most notable neighbourhood. In Brabrand and Gellerup, two thirds of the population now have a non-Danish ethnic background.[113] 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.[114]


220px De fem s%C3%B8stre i %C3%A5rhus perspetiv korrekt Wikipedia info guide tourism
Silos from 1927 known as the "Five Sisters" on the harbour's quayside.
Composition of the labor market - 2002

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.[115] The municipality is home to 175.000 jobs with some 100.000 in the private sector and the rest split between the state, region and municipality.[106]

The region is a major agricultural producer, with many large farms in the outlying districts.[116] Trade and grain exports was 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.[41] The industry became an important employer, with factory employees increasing from 100 in 1896 to 1000 in 1931, effectively transforming the city from a regional trade hub to an industrial center.[117]

Today the majority of the largest companies in the municipality are in the sectors of trade, transport and media.[41] 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 1000 people within the municipality making it a central component in the local economy.[41] The biotech industry is well established in the city with many small and medium sized companies mainly focused on research and development.[118]

The city has become a leading city for retail in the Nordic and Baltic countries with expansive shopping centres and a dense urban core with many shops.[119] 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 neighboring communitites.[94][95][120]

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.[8][121] In total 4 of the 10 largest companies in the country are based in the municipality and since the early 2000s the city have experienced an influx of larger companies moving from other parts of the Jutland peninsula.[122][123] Other large employers of note include Krifa (a trades union organisation) and 5R, a telemarketing company, while metallurgy and electronics remain important sectors.[8][124]

Port of Aarhus

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Eleonora Maersk in the Port of Aarhus

The Port of Aarhus is a municipal self-governing port with independent finances. It is one of the largest industrial ports in Northern Europe with the largest container terminal in Denmark which handles more than 50% of Denmark's container traffic and accommodates the largest container vessels in the world.[125][126] 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.[127] Since 2012 the port has faced increasing competition from Port of Hamburg and freight volumes has decreased some from the peak in 2008.[126]

The ferry terminal has served different ferry companies uninterrupted since the first steamship route to Copenhagen was opened in 1830. Currently only one passenger route is in operation transporting some 2 million passengers and almost a million cars between west and east Denmark annually. 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.[128]

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Aarhus container terminal

The port has been heavily expanded since the early 2000s, with large new wharfs, cranes and a new railway line, primarily serving the shipping company of Maersk.[125] The new wharfs in the north of the city are about twice the size of the old port and it is planned that all industrial activities will eventually be relocated there. The container terminal moved in 2010 and the ferry terminal will be relocated no later than 2020 when development on the site of the current ferry terminal is scheduled to begin.

The old wharfs are attractive to property developers and as industrial activities move to the new port area the old wharfs are gradually being taken over by the city. The new city district of Aarhus Docklands is being constructed there in phases and will comprise several residential and business buildings on both the old and some newly constructed wharfs. The old wharf formerly home to a ship building yard (nicknamed Dokken), now houses an array of businesses and cultural projects and organizations in the vacated buildings. In the south, the large recreational marina of Marselisborg Yacht Harbor complete with restaurants, hotels, cafés, etc. was also constructed some years ago.[129]


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Bruuns Galleri, a large shopping centre in Aarhus

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

In recent years, there has been a significant expansion of tourist facilities, culminating in the opening of the 240-room Comwell Hotel in July 2014, which will increase 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 3 days on average.[134]

There are more than 30 tourist information spots across the city, some of them attended by staffs, while other spots are on-line touch screens in the public space. The official tourist information in Aarhus is organized under VisitAaarhus, a corporate fund initiated in 1994 by Aarhus Municipality and the two local commercial interest organizations of Erhverv Århus and Århus City Forening.[135][136][137]


 Wikipedia info guide tourism
Hotel Royal from 1838

Aarhus offers accommodation to travellers on all levels, from cheap to expensive and from private small-scale Bed & Breakfast to luxurious apartment-suites on large international hotels. A couple of large and modern hotels have been built in the last few years, such as the 228-room Scandic Aarhus City hotel near the City Hall from 2012 or the 240-room Comwell Hotel, situated in the 25 storey Aarhus City Tower from 2014.[138][139]

Several hotels in Aarhus are notable. The old Hotel Royal next to the cathedral, with 102 rooms is situated in a building dated to 1838, with neo-baroque façade, and houses the Royal Scandinavian Casino on the bottom floor. The 234-room Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel Århus is one of the most modern hotels in the city and Denmark, built in 1995.[140] Both the Mayor Hotel, recently opened in a former hotel building from the 1930ies,[141][142] and the Best Western Ritz Hotel from 1932, are located at the central station.[143] Also of note, is the 160-room Hotel Helnan Marselis from 1967, at the Marselisborg Forests. Despite the recent redesigning of the premises, Restaurant Helnan is still considered among the best restaurants in Aarhus.[144] Ferdinand has become an award winning combination of a small high-end hotel, restaurant and lounge bar at the riverside in the city center, since the opening in 2008.[145][146][147] Budgetminded travellers can find accommodation at places like the Danhostel Aarhus, Århus City Sleep-in or Cabinn Aarhus Hotel.[148][149] Danhostel Aarhus - situated in the forest of Riis Skov -, is located partly in an old historic dance pavilion from 1869, but with modern facilities.[150] The Cabinn hotel is under severe reconstruction until 2015, but will be open all along. The rebuilding is designed by C.F. Møller Architects.[151][152]

Research parks

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Aarhus University Department of Computer Science at IT City Katrinebjerg.

Over the past ten years, Aarhus has been one of Denmark's most rapidly developing centres of research, covering areas such as information technology, energy, media, life sciences, food, architecture and design.[153][154] Enterprises in the Information and communications technology (ICT) sphere are progressing well, especially 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. Both 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.[155]

One of the major research companies is Systematic A/S, with some 450 employees working in the public sector, healthcare and defence.[156] The IT City Katrinebjerg, fosters collaboration between research, education and industry through the university branches of Alexandra Institutet, Department of Computer Science and Department of Aesthetics and Communication.[157]

In the clean energy sector, Aarhus is home to leading participants including Vestas, AVK, Amplex and Kamstrup.[158] The new Navitas Park at the docklands, is a new information and innovation park bringing together players in the energy, environment and building sectors.[153][159] The centre is sponsored by Aarhus University School of Engineering, Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering (AAMS) and INCUBA.[160][161]


1200px Panorama of Aarhus Wikipedia info guide tourism
Panoramic view of the Aarhus skyline seen from the top of ARoS.


220px %C3%85rhus domkirke Wikipedia info guide tourism
Aarhus Cathedral (1300) with older green patinated copper roofs and some newer sections that have not yet developed verdigris.

Aarhus is divided into four deaneries, under the much larger diocese of Aarhus (Aarhus Stift) and the city presents many churches.[162] A great deal are of modern design,[163] like the monumental Ravnsbjerg Church from 1976,[164][165] but the historically most important are the Aarhus Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady in the inner city. Brick stones are used extensively and has been an essential construction material in Denmark, for almost a millennia.[166][167][168] For churches, copper has traditionally been - and still is - a popular material for architectural elements in Denmark, especially roof constructions. Copper develops a green layer of verdigris, when patinated by the elements and this naturally produces the characteristic green roofs and spires that dots many skylines of Danish towns and cities, including Aarhus.

Aarhus Cathedral (Århus Domkirke) is the longest cathedral in Denmark with a total length of 93 m (305 ft).[169] It was originally built as a Romanesque basilica in the 13th century but was rebuilt and enlarged as a Gothic cathedral in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. It has a notable altarpiece sculpted by Bernt Notke from Lübeck in 1479, cited as one of the finest in the country.[170] The cathedral also has more frescos than any other church in Denmark, all painted between 1470 and 1520.[171]

The Church of our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke) includes a crypt church discovered and restored in the 1950s, which was built in 1060, making it the oldest stone church in Scandinavia.[172] Originally known as St Nicholas' Church (Skt. Nicolai Kirke), it was the first cathedral in Aarhus. The church's stonework was used to build a Dominican priory in 1240.[173] Today's church occupies the south wing of the priory.[174] The building exhibits a combination of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. The tower, with its characteristic onion-shaped top with a lantern and pointed spire was completed in the 17th century.[175]

City hall, palaces and theatres

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Marselisborg Palace
200px Aarhus Theater Konzerthaus 1900 Entwurf H. Kampmann Teater Musikhuset Danmark Foto 2010 Wolfgang Pehlemann Steinberg IMG 6492 Wikipedia info guide tourism
Aarhus Teater (1916)

The City Hall (Aarhus Rådhus), designed by Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller, was completed in 1941 in a modern Functionalist style. Initially, their plans covered the three main sections but there was no tower. As a result of criticism, the architects added the iconic 60 m (200 ft) tower without a spire.[176] Built of concrete, the building is clad in marble outside and inside with bronze and wood.[177] The interior and furniture is designed by Hans J. Wegner.[178]

Marselisborg Palace (Marselisborg Slot) is the summer retreat of the Danish royal family. Located to the south of the city centre close to the bay, the estate was donated by the city of Aarhus to Prince Christian and Princess Alexandrine as a wedding present in 1898. The gift included the palace, completed in 1902, which was designed by the prolific Aarhus architect, Hack Kampmann.[179] With its palacial white façade and external decorations, it combines the Neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles.[180] Although the palace is not open to the public, the extensive park designed in the English style by landscape architect L. Christian Diedrichsen may be visited when the royal couple are not in residence.[179]

Aarhus Theatre, opposite the cathedral on Bispetorvet, was built by Hack Kampmann in the Art Nouveau style and completed in 1916. It is the largest provincial theatre in Denmark.[181][182] The green and gold decorations in the main auditorium, which include a wreath of swans on the ceiling, are the work of Karl Hansen Reistrup.[181] Over the years additional facilities have been added including the Scala, with seating for 285 people, and the flexible Studio and Stiklingen rooms which can seat between 80 and 100. The theatre is well known throughout Denmark for its restaurant Café Hack (named after the architect) which has been the venue for a popular Sunday morning radio programme for a number of years.[183] Musikhuset (The Concert Hall of Aarhus) and Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium (The Jutlandic music conservatory) are also of note.

Historic buildings

400px Bispetorv i %C3%A5rhus Wikipedia info guide tourism
Bispetorv with some of the oldest buildings in the city

The inner city has the oldest preserved houses of Aarhus, especially the streets of Skolegade and Mejlgade in the Latin Quarter. Thestrup's House, at No. 19 Mejlgade, is the oldest of all, dating back to 1625. The low, half-timbered buildings at No. 15 to 17 Skolegade, are from 1642. There are also some fine Neoclassical buildings on the street, while Bagge Lihme's House at No. 6 Mejlegade, completed in 1811, is one of the finest examples of the Empire period in the city.[26] Attached to the cathedral, but situated in Skolegade, the cathedral school of Aarhus Katedralskole, was founded in 1195.[184] The school ranks as the 44th oldest school in the world, but only small parts of the present buildings are from the twelfth century. An ancient crypt church from 1060, beneath (and predating) the Church of Our Lady, was discovered and restored in the 1950s.[185]

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Toldkammeret (Custom House, 1898)

The Aarhus Custom House (Toldkammeret) on the harbour front, completed in 1898, is said to be Hack Kampmann's finest work. It was used by the tax authorities until the mid-1990s. Tækker Group, who purchased the building in 2004, have fully renovated the building in collaboration with the cultural authorities, taking care to maintain the Kampmann style. After being used in recent years by the architecture school and as a student hostel, the building currently houses a Jensen's Bøfhus restaurant.[186][187]

The early buildings of Aarhus University, especially the main building completed in 1932, have gained an international reputation for their contribution to functionalist architecture. Now included in the Danish Culture Canon, the yellow-brick buildings were designed by Kay Fisker, Povl Stegmann and, above all, by C.F. Møller, giving Danish architecture a new impetus.[188][189] The architectural style combining international modernism with Danish traditions, provided a basis for Danish architecture until the mid-1950s.[190]


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The concert halls of Musikhuset.

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.[191] There are 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 presents 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,[192] and Godsbanen, a former railway station.[193]

Since the 1970s, the city has seen major developments on the rock scene, with the arrival of many acclaimed bands such as 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), who promotes Danish rock music in general.[194] Each year, the city hosts several music festivals and concerts, including NorthSide Festival attracting international artists and young spectators,[195][196] the eight-day Aarhus International Jazz Festival[197] and the wide-ranging Aarhus Festuge, the largest multicultural festival in Scandinavia always based on a special theme.[198][199]

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Den Jyske Pigegarde

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[200] and Teater Refleksion as well as several dance venues like Bora Bora and Granhøj Dans.[201][202] The city hosts a biannual international theatre festival, International Living Theatre, with the next event taking place in May 2015.[203] 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 center, and offers numerous workshops for the artist community and local citizens.[193]

Aarhus presents some important library institutions and they take an active role in the cultural life of the city.[204] The State and University Library (Statsbiblioteket), which has the status of a national library, plays a key role in coordinating the online development of Danish libraries including digital access to newspapers and media.[205] The public libraries offer extensive traditional and digital services and can be used by citizens 24 hours a day, whether at the central library in Mølleparken or via the many branch libraries throughout the city. Most of the libraries also work as community centres.[206][207][208]

The city actively promotes its visible gay and lesbian community.[209] The Aarhus Festuge festival usually includes several exhibits, concerts or events specifically designed for these communities. There are several clubs, discos and cafes aimed at gays and lesbians, including Danish D-lite (sports), G bar (disco) or Gaia Vandreklub (hiking club).


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Den Gamle By (the Old Town Museum)

Den Gamle By (The Old Town), officially Danmarks Købstadmuseum (Denmark's Market Town Museum), is the only open-air museum in the country which presents life in market towns from the 17th century to the present. It consists of some 75 houses from various parts of Denmark which have been brought together to provide a picture of a traditional market town. The interiors have also been restored with original furnishings. One of the latest additions is Møntmestergården (the Mintmaster's Mansion) from 1683 which originally stood in Copenhagen.[210] Currently the museum is being extended with an area devoted to town life in the 1920s and 1930s.[211] Aarhus City Museum (Århus By Museum) recently relocated to Den Gamle By operates as an archive for historical information and presents changing exhibits on the history of the city.[212]

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ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum.

ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, the city's main art museum, has a history going back to 1858. Now housed in a building designed by Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen in 1997, it 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.[213] The new cube-shaped building with floor space of 17,700 m2 (191,000 sq ft) is centred around a curved museum street and can be accessed via a spiral staircase at its midpoint.[214]

The Moesgård Museum, which has occupied several sites since it was established in 1861, is a local museum and institution specializing in archaeology and ethnography in collaboration with the Culture and Society department of Aarhus University. Permanent exhibits on Denmark's prehistory, include weapon sacrifices from Illerup Ådal and the Grauballe Man, the world's best preserved bog body, about 2,300 years old.[215] The museum is currently closed during relocation from Moesgård Manor to new and larger premises nearby, where it will reopen in October 2014.

Kvindemuseet, the Women's Museum, contains collections presenting the lives and works of women in Danish cultural history. Starting as a grassroots movement in the 1980s, the museum has developed outreach programmes with other museums in Denmark and abroad. Established in 1984, it is located in the former city hall (built in 1857) on Domkirkeplads, now fully renovated.[216]

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Kvindemuseet in the old town hall.

Other speciality museums in Aarhus include: Besættelsesmuseet (Occupation Museum), located in the same house as The Women's Museum and presenting exhibits illustrating the German occupation of the city during the Second World War;[217] The University Park and campus of Aarhus University, presents three important museums: Naturhistorisk Museum (Natural History Museum), with over 5,000 species of animals, many in their natural surroundings;[218]Steno Museum, a museum of the history of science and medicine together with a planetarium;[219] and the little known Antikmuseet (Museum of Antiquity), with a fine collection of Greek, Etruscan and Roman art.[26]

Kunsthal Aarhus (Aarhus Art Hall) in the city centre is a large exhibition venue, renovated and extended in the 1990s. It hosts solo and group exhibitions of contemporary art including special presentations for children. In addition to painting, it covers sculpture, photography, installations, performance art, film and video.[220]

Recreation and parks

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Cherry trees in Mindeparken

Aarhus has an unusually high number of parks, 134 of them, covering a total area of around 550 ha (1,400 acres).[221] 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.[222] 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.[223][224]

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.[225] Its recently renovated tropical and subtropical greenhouses exhibit exotic plants from throughout the world.[226] The Memorial Park (Mindeparken) on the coast offers a panoramic view across the bay and is popular with locals for outings or picnics.[227][228]Marselisborg Deer Park (Marselisborg Dyrehave) extends over 22 ha (54 acres) of woodland pastures with free-roaming sika and roe deer.[229] Marienlyst Park (Marienlystparken) is one of the largest in the city with both wooded areas and open grasslands.[230] Other notable parks include City Hall Park (Rådhusparken) and the undulating University Park.[231][232]


Restaurants are numerous in Aarhus and the city presents quality cooking of a large variety and from many places in the world.[233][234][235] There are several appraised high end gourmet restaurants serving an international cuisine, like Fredrikshøj, Restaurant Varna, Miró, Nordisk Spisehus, Det Glade Vanvid, La Pyramide, Restaurant ET or Dauphine, all considered among the best in Denmark, together with a broad selection of similar cuisines of a high quality at places like Klassisk Fisk, Pihlkjær, Substans, 65 klassisk, Ferdinand, Mellemrum, Canblau, ART Restaurant, Mefisto or L'estragon.[236][237] Many restaurants in Aarhus are closed for a number of weeks in the summertime, but still plenty of kitchens are serving.

Aarhus is packed with cafés and bars of all kinds and for all economic capacities.[235] Most cafés offers some kind of dining and some includes a restaurant like Café Casablanca, Café Carlton, Café Cross or Gyngen for example. Several cafés, bars and taverns cater for night revellers, especially from Thursday til Sunday morning. The riverside has plenty of options, but the night can also be spent or celebrated at many other spots around the city, including the modern Train dance club and music venue, Thorups Kælder, an underground bar in a cellar founded by Cisternian monks in the 13th century, Café Under Masken, next to the Royal Hotel, with iron sculptures designed by local artist Hans Krull, the relaxed Ris Ras Filliongongong in Mejlgade, with an award winning beer selection and offering waterpipes, the wine and book café of Løve's in Nørregade and Sherlock Holmes, a British-style pub with live music close to the City Hall, to name a few established and well known places. The brew pub of Sct. Clemens with A Hereford Beefstouw restaurant is also of interest.[238][239][240]


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Sailsports in the Aarhus Bay, 2014
Club Sport League Venue (capacity) Founded Titles Attendance
Aarhus Gymnastik Forening Soccer 1st Division NRGi Park (20,032) 1920 5 23,990[241]
Aarhus GF Håndbold Handball Danish Handball League NRGi Arena (4,700) 2001 9[242] 4,700[243]
Bakken Bears Basketball Danish Basketball League Vejlby-Risskov Hallen (1,800) 1962 14 2,500[244]

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 completion in 1920 and matches for the national men's soccer team in 2006 and 2007.[245] The 5 sailing clubs routinely win national and international titles in a range of disciplines and the future national watersports stadium will be located on the waterfront in the city center.[246][247] 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 with economic contributions and maintain public organizations that aim to attract major sporting events and strengthen professional sports.[248] 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.[249] Soccer is by far the most popular sport followed by Gymnastics, Handball and Badminton.[249]

220px Aarhus stadion Wikipedia info guide tourism
The Aarhus stadium, NRGI Arena

In recent decades, many free and public sports facilities have sprung up across the city scape, 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.[250]

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).[251] Aarhus is on average host to 1-2 international sailing competitions every year and have 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.[252]


Aarhus is a 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.[253] 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.[254]

On 1 January 2012 Aarhus University (AU) was the largest university in Denmark by the number of students enlisted.[255] 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 and further about 1,500 Ph.D. students.[255] 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.[256]Aarhus Technical College is one of the largest business academies in Denmark, and teaches undergraduate study programmes in English, including vocational education and training (VET), continuing vocational training (CVT), and human resource development.[257] The Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) is the oldest and largest of the colleges which teach journalism education in Denmark, offering courses in journalism since 1946. In 2014 it had approximately 1700 students. In 1974 it became an independent institution conducting research and teaching at the 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 AU.[258]

220px Institut for Idr%C3%A6t %28Aarhus%29 Wikipedia info guide tourism
Institute for Sports, established in 2008 under Aarhus University.[259]

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.[260] 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.[261]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 enrollment of approximately 900 students, it teaches in five main departments: architecture and aesthetics, urban and landscape, architectonic heritage, design and architectural design[262] Also of note is KaosPilots and several other higher education centres.


Aarhus Airport, with only a few scheduled flights each day, is located 40 km (25 mi) north-east of Aarhus in Tirstrup.[263] The much larger Billund Airport is situated 95 km (59 mi) south-west of Aarhus.[264] There has been much discussion about constructing a better airport for Aarhus, but so far, the plans have not been realized.[265] In August 2014, the city council officially initiated a process to assert the viability of a new international airport.[266]

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.[267] The Aarhus Letbane is a planned tram-train project which will link two railway lines with a new light rail route through the city.[268] Most city bus lines go through the inner city and pass through either Park Alle or Banegårdspladsen (lit. English: "Central Station Square") or both.[269] 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.[270] The long-distance busses of linie888 connect Aarhus to other cities in Jutland and Zealand.[271]

350px KatExpress 2 Wikipedia info guide tourism
HSC KatExpress 2 in Aarhus harbor

The Danish ferry company Mols-Linien connects Aarhus with Copenhagen, on the island of Zealand, with rapid ferry connections to Sjællands Odde.[272] Ferries operating between Aarhus and Sjællands Odden include HSC KatExpress 1 and HSC KatExpress 2, the world's largest diesel powered catamarans,[273] 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.[274]


220px PsykiatriskHospital Risskov2 Wikipedia info guide tourism
Risskov Psychiatric Hospital, a branch of Aarhus University 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.[275] 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.[276] The hospital collaborates with the Psychiatric Hospital in Risskov, which also conducts psychiatric research.[277] 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.[278][279] 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.[280]

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.[281] 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.[282] 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.[283]


220px Soesterhoej Wikipedia info guide tourism
The Aarhus Søsterhøj TV tower, height 261 m (856 ft)

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.[284] The first daily newspaper in Aarhus was Århus Stiftstidende, once one of Denmark's largest,[285] 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.[286]

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.[287] 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.[288] Aarhus has its own local TV channel TVAarhus, transmitting since 1984.[289][290] 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.[291]

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.[292]

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.[293]

Notable people





Music and culture



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External links

Coordinates: 56°09′26″N 10°12′39″E / 56.1572°N 10.2107°E / 56.1572; 10.2107