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.Archaeologists have conducted several excavations in the inner city since the 1960s revealing wells, streets, homes and workshops.
In 2017, Aarhus has been selected as European Capital of Culture along with Paphos in Cyprus.
With the Danish spelling reform of 1948, "Aa" was changed to "Å".
In the 1970s and 1980s, Aarhus became the centre for Denmark's rock music fostering many iconic bands such as TV-2 and Gnags.
Aarhus is home to the annual eight-day Aarhus International Jazz Festival, the SPo T Festival and the North Side Festival.
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 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.
Some Danish cities resisted the new spelling of their names, notably Aalborg and Aabenraa.