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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.Aalborg Airport is just 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) northwest of the city centre, and the E45, a European route from Karesuando, Sweden, to Gela, Italy, passes through Aalborg.The European Commission has concluded that the citizens of Aalborg are the most satisfied people in Europe with their city.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.A major exporter of grain, cement, and spirits, its thriving business interests include Siemens Wind Power, Aalborg Industries, and Aalborg Portland.

The Aalborg Carnival, held at the end of May, is one of the largest festivals in Scandinavia, attracting some 100,000 people annually.During the Middle Ages a number of important institutions were established in Aalborg, including Budolfi Cathedral in the late 14th century and the Hospital of the Holy Ghost, a monastery and nunnery founded in 1451 to help those in need.In 1530 a large part of the town was destroyed by fire, and in December 1534 it was stormed and plundered by the king's troops after a peasants' revolt known as the Count's Feud led by Skipper Clement. From the 1550s to the 1640s, as a result of increased foreign trade, Aalborg enjoyed great prosperity, second only to that of Copenhagen.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.

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