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.
Today, Aalborg is a city in transition from a working-class industrial area to a knowledge-based community.
Grey Friar Convent, on the east side of Østerå, was probably built around 1240; it was documented in 1268 when it was a Franciscan Convent of the Order of Friars Minor, but like many other Roman Catholic monasteries and convents was shut down in 1530 as a result of the Reformation.
Aalborg's earliest trading privileges date from 1342, when King Valdemar IV received the town as part of his huge dowry on marrying Helvig of Schleswig.
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.
Despite the difficulties it experienced over the centuries, the city began to prosper once again towards the end of the 19th century when a bridge was built over Limfjord and the railway arrived.