The city gates funnelled most traffic through a few streets where merchant quarters were built.
In the 17th century, Aarhus entered a period of recession as it suffered blockades and bombardments during the Swedish wars and trade was dampened by the preferential treatment of the capital by the state.
Parts of the ramparts are still in existence today and can be experienced as steep slopes at the riverside and they have also survived in some place names of the inner city, including the streets of Volden (The Rampart) and Graven (The Moat).
The growing influence of the Church during the Middle Ages gradually turned Aarhus, with its bishopric, into a prosperous religious centre.Archaeologists have conducted several excavations in the inner city since the 1960s revealing wells, streets, homes and workshops.In the buildings and adjoining archaeological layers, everyday utensils like combs, jewellery and basic multi-purpose tools from approximately the year 900 have been found.In 2017, Aarhus has been selected as European Capital of Culture along with Paphos in Cyprus.With the Danish spelling reform of 1948, "Aa" was changed to "Å".
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Market town privileges were granted in 1441, but growth stagnated in the 17th century as the city suffered blockades and bombardments during the Swedish Wars.In the 19th century it was occupied twice by German troops during the Schleswig Wars but avoided destruction.In 2010, the city council voted to change the name from "Århus" to "Aarhus" in order to strengthen the international profile of the city. Certain geographically affiliated names have been updated to reflect the name of the city, such as the Aarhus River, changed from "Århus Å" to "Aarhus Å".It is still grammatically correct to write geographical names with the letter Å and local councils are allowed to use the Aa spelling as an alternative.The charter is the first official recognition of the town as a regional power and is by some considered Aarhus' birth certificate.
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The official and religious status spurred growth so in 1477 the defensive earthen ramparts, ringing the town since the Viking age, were abandoned to accommodate expansion.In the 900s an earth rampart for the defence of the early city was constructed, encircling the settlement, much like the defence structures found at Viking ring fortresses elsewhere.The rampart was later reinforced by Harald Bluetooth, and together with the town's geographical placement, this suggests that Aros was an important trade and military centre.Whichever spelling local authorities choose, most newspapers and public institutions will accept it.Some official authorities such as the Danish Language Committee, publisher of the Danish Orthographic Dictionary, still retain "Århus" as the main name, providing "Aarhus" as a new, second option, in brackets.