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The population grew in parallel with the development of many fine buildings in the city as merchants benefitted from their shipping routes from Norway to Portugal.
The Aalborg Carnival, held at the end of May, is one of the largest festivals in Scandinavia, attracting some 100,000 people annually.A major exporter of grain, cement, and spirits, its thriving business interests include Siemens Wind Power, Aalborg Industries, and Aalborg Portland.These companies have become global producers of wind turbine rotors, marine boilers and cement.The area around the narrowest point on the Limfjord attracted settlements as far back as the Iron Age leading to a thriving Viking community until around the year 1000 in what has now become Aalborg.In the Middle Ages, royal trading privileges, a natural harbour and a thriving herring fishing industry contributed to the town's growth.Despite the difficulties it experienced over the centuries, the city began to prosper once again towards the end of the 19th century when a bridge was built over Limfjord and the railway arrived.
Aalborg's initial growth relied on heavy industry but its current development focuses on culture and education.
Aalborg Airport is just 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) northwest of the city centre, and the E45, a European route from Karesuando, Sweden, to Gela, Italy, passes through Aalborg.
The European Commission has concluded that the citizens of Aalborg are the most satisfied people in Europe with their city.
Aalborg traces its history back over a thousand years.
It was originally settled as a trading post because of its position on the Limfjord.
The sites of what were two settlements and a burial ground can be seen on Lindholm Høje, a hill overlooking the city.