Aalborg is an industrial and university city in the North of Jutland, Denmark. As of 2013, it has 106,916 inhabitants, making it the fourth most populous city in Denmark. With 203,448 inhabitants (2013), the Municipality of Aalborg is the third most populous in the country after Copenhagen and Aarhus. By road Aalborg is 64 kilometers (40 mi) southwest of Frederikshavn, and 118 kilometres (73 mi) north of Aarhus.
The earliest settlements date to around AD 700. Aalborg’s position at the narrowest point on the Limfjord made it an important harbour during the Middle Ages, and later a large industrial centre. Architecturally, the city is known for its half-timbered mansions built by its prosperous merchants. Budolfi Church, now a cathedral, dates from the end of the 14th century and Aalborghus Castle, a royal residence, was built in 1550. Today, Aalborg is a city in transition from a working-class industrial area to a knowledge-based community. A major exporter of grain, cement, and spirits, its thriving business interests include Siemens Wind Power, De Danske Spritfabrikker (Danish Distillers), Aalborg Industries, and Aalborg Portland. These companies have become global producers of wind turbine rotors, akvavit, marine boilers and cement.
With its theatres, symphony orchestra, opera company, performance venues, and museums such as Aalborg Historical Museum and the Aalborg Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg is an important cultural hub. The Aalborg Carnival, held at the end of May, is one of the largest festivals in Scandinavia, attracting some 100,000 people annually. The major university is the University of Aalborg, founded in 1974, which has more than 17,000 students. The University College of Northern Denmark is one of seven new regional organisations while the Royal School of Library and Information Science (RSLIS) provides higher education in library and information science. Trænregimentet, the Danish regiment for army supply and emergency medical personnel, is also in Aalborg. Aalborg University Hospital, the largest in the north of Jutland, was founded in 1881.
Despite its industrial background and the factories along its waterfront, the city has gained popularity for tourism in recent years, offering a wide variety of attractions and historic buildings in addition to its museums, churches and parks.