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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.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.

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.

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.

In the 1950s many jazz clubs sprang up around the city, fuelled by the young population.

By the 1960s, the music scene diversified into rock and other genres.

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