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Aarhus or Århus is the second-largest city in Denmark. The principal port of Denmark, Aarhus is on the east side of the peninsula of Jutland in the geographical centre of Denmark. Aarhus is the seat of the council of Aarhus municipality with 319,094 inhabitants and 256,018 in the inner urban area. According to Aarhus municipality, the “Greater Aarhus” area has a population of about 1.25 million people. The city claims the unofficial title “Capital of Jutland”.
Aarhus is the main and biggest city in the East Jutland metropolitan area, which is a co-operation in eastern Jutland with 17 municipalities. With more than 1.2 million people living in the East Jutland metropolitan area it represents approximately 23% of the population of Denmark. Aarhus has the second-largest urban area in Denmark after Copenhagen.
One major tourist attraction in Aarhus is The Old Town, which is not actually an old part of the city itself, but a collection of historic Danish buildings gathered from all around the country. The city also hosts the Tivoli Friheden amusement park as well as the deer park situated in the large nearby public forest.
Architecturally impressive sights include the 13th century cathedral in the centre of the city; Århus Domkirke is the tallest cathedral in Denmark, as well as the second longest in Northern Europe, being only 45 cm (18 in) shorter than its counterpart in Trondheim. The Aarhus City Hall is a uniquely designed building drawn by renowned architect Arne Jacobsen, located in the city centre. The city hall is included in the national educational canon for culture as an example of important architectural work.
There are many museums scattered around the city with ARoS being the newest and largest featuring daily exhibits of contemporary art. Other museums include Aarhus Kunstbygning which also features contemporary art, Frihedsmuseet which focuses on the occupation and resistance movement during World War II and Kvindemuseet which showcases feminist history and culture.
Being a comparatively large Danish city, Aarhus has received a fair share of immigrants from various other cultures and is as such also home to one of the few ghettos in Denmark, Gellerup. The international cultures present in the community are an obvious and visible part of the city’s daily life and contribute to many cultural flavours uncommon for the North, such as the Arabic themed Bazar West, a market with shopkeepers predominantly of foreign descent.
It is common for tourist brochures and local politicians to refer to the town with the tongue-in-cheek slogan “The world’s smallest big city” reflecting the fact that the city has everything a city needs despite not being a metropolis like London. Another popular, and perhaps better known, phrase to describe the city is “City of Smiles” – a slogan first coined by the city council in the 1930s as an advertising slogan, and which subsequently is used widely in popular culture today.