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In Erik Pontoppidan's Danske Atlas (Danish Atlas) it was described as "after Copenhagen, the best and most prosperous market town in Denmark".After Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden in 1814, Aalborg lost its important role as the country's centre for Norwegian trade.The distance to Copenhagen is 412 kilometres (256 mi). Aalborg's position at the narrowest point on the Limfjord made it an important harbour during the Middle Ages, and later a large industrial centre.Architecturally, the city is known for its half-timbered mansions built by its prosperous merchants.Aalborg traces its history back over a thousand years.It was originally settled as a trading post because of its position on the Limfjord.A major exporter of grain, cement, and spirits, its thriving business interests include Siemens Wind Power, Aalborg Industries, and Aalborg Portland.

Other sports associations include the icehockey club Aalborg Pirates, the men's handball team Aalborg Håndbold, the rugby club Aalborg RK, and Aalborg Cricket Club. Kennedys Plads has connected the city to Randers and the south since 1869.

The major university is the University of Aalborg, founded in 1974, which has more than 20,000 students (as of 2016).

The University College of Northern Denmark is one of seven new regional organisations while the Royal School of Library and Information Science (RSLIS) provides higher education in library and information science.

Trænregimentet, the Danish regiment for army supply and emergency medical personnel, is also in Aalborg.

Aalborg University Hospital, the largest in the north of Jutland, was founded in 1881.

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