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Randers, Denmark

Randers is a city in the Randers municipality (Aarhus County, Region Midtjylland) on the Jutland peninsula in central Denmark. It is Denmark's 6th largest city. Randers municipality has 93.644 inhabitants (2008).

Randers is Denmark's only natural river harbour, and it is situated on the banks of the River Guden (Gudenå), about 6 miles (10 km) above its mouth in Randers Fjord, and 111 miles (179 km) west-northwest of Copenhagen. The harbor has long been the site for the export of goods transported by river from Silkeborg and Viborg.

A large agricultural area and good transportation possibilities by both land and water, helped to make Randers a center for trade and commerce. Known for the many access roads leading into the city, it has engendered the popular saying, "Where the waterway meets the 13 highways" ("Hvor søvejen møder de 13 landeveje"). Randers is referred to as Crown Jutland (Kronjylland) and the people as Crown Jutlanders (Kronjyde), probably due to the big Crown estates, i.e. the estates owned by the Crown, the King. The term Kronjyde was first used by Danish poets around 1750.

History

Randers was established around the 1100s.

The town was fortressed throughout much of the Middle Ages. Today, however, the only sign of defensive walls is the evidence of their existence in street names. These streets follow a circular path, presumably following the location of the historic walls. Street names include Østervold ("Eastern Defense Wall), Nørreport ("Northern Gate"), Vestervold ("Western Defense Wall), and Lille Voldgade (Little Defense Wall Street"). A chronicle written at Essenbæk Cloister tells of a fire that ravaged the city. The city was destroyed three times in the 1200s, including in 1246 when it was burned down by Abel of Denmark's troops during the civil uprising against Eric IV of Denmark.