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In 2010, the city council voted to change the name from "Århus" to "Aarhus" 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.
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 and some institutions are still using "Århus" explicitly in their official name, such as the local newsmedia Århus Stiftstidende and the schools Århus Kunstakademi and Århus Statsgymnasium for example.Many public and religious buildings were built in and around the city; notably Aarhus Cathedral was initiated in the late 12th century by the influential bishop Peder Vognsen.In 1441, Christopher III issued the oldest known charter granting market town status although similar privileges may have existed as far back as the 12th century.In 1657, octroi was imposed in larger Danish cities which changed the layout and face of Aarhus over the following decades.Wooden city walls were erected to prevent smuggling, with gates and toll booths on the major thoroughfares, Mejlgade and Studsgade.
There are strong indications of a former royal residence from the Viking Age in Viby, a few kilometres south of the Aarhus city centre.