Aarhus - one of the oldest cities in Scandinavia

Aarhus is one of Scandinavia´s oldest cities

New excavations have shown that Aarhus was founded around the year 770. This means that Aarhus is in fact at least 100 years older than assumed originally, and thus one of Scandinavia’s oldest cities.

Aarhus is one of Scandinavia´s oldest cities

New excavations have shown that Aarhus was founded around the year 770. This means that Aarhus is in fact at least 100 years older than assumed originally, and thus one of Scandinavia’s oldest cities.

Until quite recently it was universally accepted that Aarhus was founded as a town around the year 900. However, new excavations within the old ramparts in central Aarhus have revealed that the Vikings had actually arrived in Aarhus far earlier than this.

In the area around the small ’Pustervig Torv’ square, archaeologists have found the remains of a Viking settlement dated to as far back as approximately 770, thus moving the year on the city’s "birth certificate" back at least 100 years. This means that Aarhus is one of Scandinavia’s oldest cities – although Ribe in South Jutland still retains the title as Denmark’s oldest town.

The Vikings did not pick Aarhus as a town and trading post by accident. Thanks to its position in the bay it was easy to reach from the sea, and by using the river the fine-lined Viking ships could sail many kilometres into the hinterland, where they were well protected against possible hostile attacks from the sea.

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