The city gates funnelled most traffic through a few streets where merchant quarters were built.In the 17th century, Aarhus entered a period of recession as it suffered blockades and bombardments during the Swedish wars and trade was dampened by the preferential treatment of the capital by the state.
In the 19th century it was occupied twice by German troops during the Schleswig Wars but avoided destruction.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.Some Danish cities resisted the new spelling of their names, notably Aalborg and Aabenraa.Århus city council explicitly embraced the new spelling, as it was thought to enhance an image of progressiveness.
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.As the industrial revolution took hold, the city grew to become the second-largest in the country by the 20th century.Today Aarhus is at the cultural and economic core of the region and the largest centre for trade, services and industry in Jutland.In the 1950s many jazz clubs sprang up around the city, fuelled by the young population.
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