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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.
Major Danish companies have based their headquarters here and people commute for work and leisure from a wide area in Region Midtjylland.
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.
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.
The charter is the first official recognition of the town as a regional power and is by some considered Aarhus' birth certificate.