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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 2010, the city council voted to change the name from "Århus" to "Aarhus" to strengthen the international profile of the city. Certain geographically affiliated names have been updated to reflect the name of the city, such as the Aarhus River, changed from "Århus Å" to "Aarhus Å".It is still grammatically correct to write geographical names with the letter Å and local councils are allowed to use the Aa spelling as an alternative.Market town privileges were granted in 1441, but growth stagnated in the 17th century as the city suffered blockades and bombardments during the Swedish Wars.In the 19th century it was occupied twice by German troops during the Schleswig Wars but avoided destruction.Archaeologists have conducted several excavations in the inner city since the 1960s revealing wells, streets, homes and workshops.
The growing influence of the Church during the Middle Ages gradually turned Aarhus, with its bishopric, into a prosperous religious centre.Whichever spelling local authorities choose, most newspapers and public institutions will accept it.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.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.