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The population grew in parallel with the development of many fine buildings in the city as merchants benefitted from their shipping routes from Norway to Portugal.
During the second half of the 18th century, Aalborg entered a further period of prosperity.
The area around the narrowest point on the Limfjord attracted settlements as far back as the Iron Age leading to a thriving Viking community until around the year 1000 in what has now become Aalborg.
In the Middle Ages, royal trading privileges, a natural harbour and a thriving herring fishing industry contributed to the town's growth.
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.
These large settlements, one from the 6th-century Germanic Iron Age, the other from the Viking Age in the 9th to 11th centuries, evolved at the narrowest point on Limfjord as a result of the traffic between Himmerland to the south and Vendsyssel to the north.Budolfi Church, now a cathedral, dates from the end of the 14th century and Aalborghus Castle, a royal residence, was built in 1550.