Due to its central seaside location, Aarhus has always been a busy trading town. Its name comes from Aros, meaning ‘place at the river’s mouth’. Excavations from the mid-1960s suggest the city was founded around AD 900.
Medieval times were Aarhus’ most turbulent, as the town was wedged in the middle of feuding neighbouring states. Prosperity was kept in check over the following centuries by raids from rival Vikings and attacks by fearsome Wend pirates. Stability then ensued until the 1500s, and it was during this time Aarhus flourished as a centre of trade, art and religion.