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Aalborg History, Denmark

Aalborg, referred to as the busy city on the fjord, has a convenient location at the narrowest part of the Lim Fjord. Let’s get back in time and trace how the city became a busy industrial city starting from a simple settlement of the Vikings.

The first settlements of Vikings, known as the founders of the city, can be traced back to 700 AD. Almost 1300 years ago, the Vikings made their settlements on the Lindholm Hoje. The Lindholm Hoje now serves as a natural museum and one of the city’s main tourist destinations.

The two settlements and the Vikings’ burial ground showed that the location was a very significant part of the economic crossroad during that time. Aalborg was originally named Alabu as found in a coin that is dated 1040. The name Alabu or Alebu means a place or dwelling by the stream. Due to its strategic location, Aalborg became one of Denmark’s largest cities. It was granted a monopoly on salt herring in 1516 that led to the prosperity of the city during the middle ages. It was given town privileges and bishopric dates in 1342 and 1554, respectively. Aalborg became one of the significant hubs for trades, cultural, and commercial exchanges in the region. Aalborg was connected to the eastern coast of England through herring fishery alone. When the railways reached the city in the later part of the 19th century, its port expanded which led to the introduction of more industries and rapid growth of the city. Aalborg served as an important trade port for Norway before the latter was relinquished to Sweden in 1841.

In 1940, the German paratroopers captured the Aalborg Aerodrome as part of the German invasion in Denmark. The aerodrome was the only way that the German aircrafts could use to reach Norway. Other significant events in the development of Aalborg include the hosting of the First European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns in 1994. The Aalborg Charter was first adapted in this conference to give a framework of delivering sustainable developments to its localities. Ten years after, Aalborg again hosted the 4th European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conference adapting the Aalborg 10 Commitments. These commitments have put into action the urban developments that were originally possible in words.

Aalborg is a living museum that shows its origin but very few accounts are available on print to express the other notable events in the history of the busy city by the river. Visit the Lindholm Hoje and experience the early life of the Vikings.

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