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Aalborg ( ), sometimes written as Ålborg, is a city in Denmarkmarker. Its population, as of 2009, is 122,461, making it the fourth largest in the country after Copenhagenmarker, Aarhusmarker, and Odensemarker. The earliest settlements date back to around 700 AD. Its location by the Limfjordmarker made it an important harbour during the Middle Ages, and an industrial centre later. Today the city is in a transition from a working-class, industrial city to a knowledge-based one.

History of Aalborg

Early age

Lindholm Høje, 2008
Aalborg traces its history back over 1000 years. It was originally settled as a trading post, because of its position on the Limfjordmarker. The sites of what were two settlements and a visible burial ground can be seen on Lindholm Højemarker, a hill overlooking the city. The size of these settlements emphasise the significance of this place as a crossroads.The first mention of Aalborg under its original name Alabu, is found on a coin dated to 1040. An alternative spelling is Alebu and an approximate translation of the name is The (dwelling) place by the stream.
Aalborg panelled room, first half 17th century (National Museum, Copenhagen)

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, Aalborg prospered and became one of the largest cities in Denmark. This prosperity was further enhanced when in 1516 Aalborg was granted a monopoly in salt herring. The herring fishery linked Aalborg to the East coast of England, across the North Sea, both in commercial competition and cultural exchange. The panelled interior from an Aalborg house in the National Museum, Copenhagen (illustration), shares many details with Jacobean panelled rooms.

Aalborg received town privileges in 1342 and the bishopric dates from 1554.

World War II

During the German invasion of Denmark in 1940, the Aalborg Aerodromemarker was captured by German paratroopers very early in the action and Aalborg is said to be the first city ever to be captured by paratroopers. The aerodrome was crucial for German aircraft to be able to reach Norway.


Aalborg view from Skovbakken, 2005


Aalborg is located 120 kilometres north of Aarhusmarker, 82 kilometres north of Randersmarker and 50 kilometres north of Hobromarker. Aalborg is located 50 kilometres south of Hjørring, 63 kilometres south west of Frederikshavnmarker and 90 kilometres east of Thistedmarker. There are 414 kilometres (by Great Belt Fixed Linkmarker) to Copenhagenmarker. There are 450 kilometres to Hamburgmarker in Germanymarker. To Gothenburgmarker in Swedenmarker there are (by the Frederikshavn-Göteborg ferry) 150 kilometres. To Oslomarker in Norwaymarker there are 340 kilometres (by the Hirtshalsmarker-Oslo ferry).


Summers in Aalborg have average high temperatures of around and lows of , but temperatures sometimes exceed +) and occasional heatwaves are common during the summer.

Winters usually have temperatures of , rarely dropping below .

Transport in Aalborg

Limfjordsbroen seen from Aalborg, 2004
On the north side of the Limfjord is Nørresundbymarker, which is connected to Aalborg by a road bridge Limfjordsbroen, an iron railway bridge Jernbanebroen over Limfjorden, as well as a motorway tunnel running under the Limfjord Limfjordstunnelen.

Public transportation

View of Aalborg railway station from J.F.
Kennedy's Square, 2004
The city has a main train station Aalborg Station, close to J. F. Kennedy-Square. Other stations in Aalborg are Skalborg Station, Aalborg Vestby Station and Lindholm Station.

Car transportation

The European route E45, going from Finland to Italy, passes through Aalborg, and through Limfjordstunellen under the Limfjord in Aalborg.

Air transportation

Aalborg Airportmarker is the local airport.

Aalborg Air Basemarker—an important base of the Danish Air Force is located in Aalborg.

Visitor attractions in Aalborg

Traditional housing in Aalborg, 2005

Historical attractions

The old Aalborghus Castlemarker (Aalborghus Slot) and some picturesque houses of the 17th century remain in the center of the town. The half-timbered (bindingsværk) castle was built in 1550 by King Christian III, and was converted to government administration offices in the 1950s.
Aalborghus Castle, 2008

Jens Bang's House, a five story building built in 1624 by the merchant Jens Bang is an example of Renaissance architecture. It is located on Nytorv next to the old Town Hall.

The present Budolfi Churchmarker dates from the end of the 14th century, although at least two earlier churches stood on the same spot. Budolfi Church was just a parish church until it became the seat of the Lutheran bishop of Aalborg in 1554.

Vor Frue Kirkemarker ("Church of Our Lady") is a relatively modern church. The original Church of Our Lady from the early 1100s was pulled down after the Reformation because it was so old and unstable. The newer building in a different location was partially burned in 1894.

Underneath the main pedestrian shopping street is a newly opened museum of the excavation of a monastery from the 11th century.

Nørresundbymarker is the site of the Lindholm Højemarker settlement and burial ground from the Germanic Iron Age and Viking times. There is also a museum on the site.

Aalborg Historical Museummarker is located in the city.

Newer attractions

Aalborg Tower seen from Mølleparken, 2006
Aalborgtårnetmarker is a tripod tower erected in 1933. The tower still gives an exquisite view over the fjord and the city from its 105 m rise over the sea level.

Near the Aalbor Tower you find KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art Aalborgmarker an art museum built in 1972 designed by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.

In 2008 the Utzon Center, dedicated to the work of the noted architect Jørn Utzon, was built next to the Limfjordmarker at the central harbour front in Aalborg. Born in Copenhagenmarker, Utzon grew up in Aalborg. The center contains an exhibition on Utzon's work, which included the Sydney Opera Housemarker, as well as educational displays on architecture and design.

Nordkraft is a cultural centre in a former power plant near the harbour. It has theatres (opening in 2010), a cinema, concert facilities. In its neighbourhood a classical concert hall, Musikkens Hus, designed by Coop Himmelbau, is planned.

Jomfru Ane Gade

One of the most popular and famous streets in Aalborg, possibly even in Denmark, is Jomfru Ane Gade, or simply just Gaden ("The Street"). The name translates to "Mistress' Anne's Street" in English. The pubs and restaurants on this street offer beer and other spirits for some of the most competitive prices in Denmark.
Jomfru Ane Gade.

Jomfru Ane Gade is a café and restaurant street during day which, at night, turn into clubs, discos and bars. During the 1990s the street was infamous for being a 'hang out' of two biker gangs who were at war for some years all over Scandinavia, but as the bikers disappeared from the street it became even more popular among people of all ages.

During the day, tourists and employees in the city come to Jomfru Ane Gade, especially for its restaurants. In the afternoons some of the cafés open. Around 11 pm the mood of the street changes into more of a party street when younger people arrive.

Aalborg Carnival

Carnival in Aalborg, 2008.
The annual Aalborg Carnival takes place in the weekend of week 21 (usually the last week in May). The Carnival is actually three events, the children's carnival (Børnekarneval), the battle of carnival bands, and the carnival itself.During the carnival, Aalborg receives about 100,000 people. The children's carnival is a carnival dedicated to the children, with performances and activities for children. On Friday "The Battle of Carnival Bands" is an exciting and colourful evening with processions through the city when all the participating groups compete to be the leading carnival group.

The carnival itself is the following Saturday – on this day the city centre is full of life. The streets are filled with gaily dressed people who are in a real spring mood. In Kildeparken concerts are given from various stages all day to midnight. The Carnival ends with a grand firework display.

Sport in Aalborg

Aalborg BK

The city is home to the Danish sports club Aalborg BKmarker, established in 1885 and known as "AaB" for short. The major division in Aalborg Boldspilklub is football division AaB Fodboldmarker, which competes in the Danish Superliga championship. They play their games at Energi Nord Arenamarker. The club has won the Danish Superliga in the 1994/95 season, the 1998/99 season and the 2007/08 season.The team qualified for the group stages of the 1995-96 and 2008-09 UEFA Champions League seasons.
Aalborg DH in Gigantium Isarena, 2009

Other clubs

Aalborg is also known for the women's handball club Aalborg DHmarker. They are established in 2001 and play their games in Gigantiummarker.

Education in Aalborg

University of Aalborg

Aalborg University, 2009
The major college in Aalborg is the University of Aalborgmarker, founded in 1974. It has more than 14,000 students and more than 2,000 employees.

Other colleges in Aalborg

Aalborg Business College, Tech College Aalborgmarker, Royal School of Library and Information Sciencemarker, University College of Northern Denmark, Aalborghus Gymnasiummarker and Trænregimentet.

One of the two colleges of Profession School University College North Jutland (Danish: Professionshøjskolen University College Nordjylland) can also be found in Aalborg.


Aalborg is still an industrial and commercial centre in Denmark, exporting grain, cement and fish. Many of the traditional industries in the city have been closed in recent years and new knowledge based industries have arosed.

Traditional industries

Aalborg is home to De Danske Spritfabrikker's ("Danish Distillers") akvavit snaps, production facility for the distillation of the Aalborg family of akvavits consisting of 17 different brands. Danish Distillers is Scandinavia's largest producer and supplier of spirits for consumption, and is the world's largest producer and exporter of akvavit, supplying over 140 geographic markets.

Aalborg Industries, the world's largest manufacturer of marine boilers, is headquartered here.

Modern industries

It is the centre of telecommunications industry originating from the University of Aalborgmarker.


Budolfi Church, 2006
Aalborg is the seat of a bishop within the Danish National Church.


Vindmill from Aalborg Østhavn (Aalborg Eastharbour), 2006
The First European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns took place in Aalborg, in 1994. The Conference adopted the Aalborg Charter />, which provides a framework for the delivery of local sustainable development, and calls on local authorities to engage in Local Agenda 21 processes.

The 4th European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conference ("Aalborg +10":, held in Aalborg in 2004, adopted the Aalborg +10 Commitments. These commitments are an important step forward in turning sustainable urban development from words into real actions.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Aalborg maintains cultural, economic and educational ties with 27 cities around the globe. Thus, Aalborg has the most twin cities in Denmark. Every four years Aalborg gathers youth from the majority of its twin cities for a week of sports games, known as Ungdomslegene (The Youth Games).

Notable people

Born in Aalborg

Longer residence in Aalborg

See also


External links

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