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Aarhus, originally called Aros, is one of the oldest cities in Denmark. It was founded during the Viking Age around the 10th century, and since then has served as a significant commerce and trade center for Denmark. The original town was situated along the river up to Immervad and in the part of the city where Aarhus’ Cathedral is today. Old street names such as Volden (The Rampart) and Graven (The Moat) that remain today show where the borders of the town were set in the past. When the old town was first excavated in the 20th century, they showed traces of the people who chose to settle by the mouth of the Aarhus Å river. Also, recent excavations of the old town shows a large number of artefacts and other traces leading back to the Viking Age.
Aarhus developed rapidly after it became an Episcopal headquarters in the 11th cent. It was a bustling sea town. However, during the Reformation in the 18 th century, the city declined a bit and its popularity dimmed. In the 18th century, it regained stature and its population has been large and its economy strong since, as Denmark’s second largest history. It was occupied by Germans during World War II, like the rest of Denmark.