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In 2017, Aarhus has been selected as European Capital of Culture along with Paphos in Cyprus.With the Danish spelling reform of 1948, "Aa" was changed to "Å".It is a centre for research and education in the Nordic countries and home to Aarhus University, Scandinavia's largest university, including Aarhus University Hospital and INCUBA Science Park.Being the Danish city with the youngest demographics, with 48,482 inhabitants aged under 18, Aarhus is known for its musical history.In 1657, octroi was imposed in larger Danish cities which changed the layout and face of Aarhus over the following decades.Wooden city walls were erected to prevent smuggling, with gates and toll booths on the major thoroughfares, Mejlgade and Studsgade.
Today Aarhus is at the cultural and economic core of the region and the largest centre for trade, services and industry in Jutland.There are strong indications of a former royal residence from the Viking Age in Viby, a few kilometres south of the Aarhus city centre.The growing influence of the Church during the Middle Ages gradually turned Aarhus, with its bishopric, into a prosperous religious centre.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 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.