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With its theatres, symphony orchestra, opera company, performance venues, and museums such as Aalborg Historical Museum and the Aalborg Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg is an important cultural hub.The Aalborg Carnival, held at the end of May, is one of the largest festivals in Scandinavia, attracting some 100,000 people annually.), is Denmark's fourth largest city with an urban population of 136,000, including 22,000 in the twin city Nørresundby 600 meters across the Limfjorden.
Aalborg's initial growth relied on heavy industry but its current development focuses on culture and education.
A major exporter of grain, cement, and spirits, its thriving business interests include Siemens Wind Power, Aalborg Industries, and Aalborg Portland.
These companies have become global producers of wind turbine rotors, marine boilers and cement.
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 privileges were extended by Eric of Pomerania in 1430 and by Christopher of Bavaria in 1441.