The inner urban area contains 269,022 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2017 The history of Aarhus began as a fortified Viking settlement founded in the 8th century and with the first written records stemming from the bishopric seated here from at least 948.
The city was founded on the northern shores of a fjord at a natural harbour and the primary driver of growth was for centuries seaborne trade in agricultural products.
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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.
Archaeologists have conducted several excavations in the inner city since the 1960s revealing wells, streets, homes and workshops.
In the buildings and adjoining archaeological layers, everyday utensils like combs, jewellery and basic multi-purpose tools from approximately the year 900 have been found.
The city gates funnelled most traffic through a few streets where merchant quarters were built.