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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.
The growing influence of the Church during the Middle Ages gradually turned Aarhus, with its bishopric, into a prosperous religious centre.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.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.It is notable that the "Aa" spelling has been in use the longest.
"Aa" was also used by some major institutions between 1948-2011 as well, such as Aarhus university (AU) or the largest local sports club, Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF), who have never used the "Å"-spelling.
Parts of the ramparts are still in existence today and can be experienced as steep slopes at the riverside and they have also survived in some place names of the inner city, including the streets of Volden (The Rampart) and Graven (The Moat).
Aarhus grew to become one of the largest cities in the country by the early 16th century.
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 and some institutions are still using "Århus" explicitly in their official name, such as the local newsmedia Århus Stiftstidende and the schools Århus Kunstakademi and Århus Statsgymnasium for example.
As the industrial revolution took hold, the city grew to become the second-largest in the country by the 20th century.