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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.
Aarhus is home to the annual eight-day Aarhus International Jazz Festival, the SPo T Festival and the North Side Festival.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Aarhus became the centre for Denmark's rock music fostering many iconic bands such as TV-2 and Gnags.
The city ranks as the 92nd largest city in the European Union, and as number 234 among world cities. Aarhus 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.
The inner urban area contains 264,716 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2016 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.