Coat of arms of Aarhus

Aarhus Coat of arms

Coat of arms of Aarhus

The coat of arms of Aarhus serves as an official emblem for the city, and its design draws inspiration from the ancient seals of medieval Danish market towns. The coat of arms can be traced back to a seal first employed in Aarhus around 1250.

The earliest surviving record of this seal dates to a document from June 24, 1356, which regrettably was lost during the destructive events of the Second World War. Over the course of its 750-year existence, the seal has taken on various forms and adaptations.

History of the Coat of Arms

The original seal portrays two individuals robed and positioned within a portal, one holding an anchor and the other a sword. This composition is flanked by two towers, believed to symbolize the original Romanesque Aarhus Cathedral, known for its two prominent west towers.

While the specific identities of these two figures remain uncertain, the one grasping the anchor is often associated with St. Clement, the patron saint of sailors and the cathedral’s namesake. The figure holding the sword is commonly linked to the Apostle Paul.

In its earliest renditions, the city’s name was inscribed as “Arusiensis,” an adjective derived from “Arusia.” Originally interpreted as “Åre hus” or “city by the mouth of the river,” this designation evolved over time. Subsequent seals featured distinct designs: in 1581, it displayed three oars, while in 1672, it depicted three oars within a structure above waves, accompanied by two fish.

In 1938, Aarhus Municipality commissioned the artist and engraver Fr. Fritze to create the current coat of arms. This new design draws its inspiration from the original seal dating back to the 1250s. Simultaneously, the concept of the city seal was retired. The official announcement, published in Statstidende on June 23, 1938, described the new coat of arms as follows:

“A blue shield, with a red portal, flanked by two red towers and a spire, with depiction of St. Clement and St. Paul, dressed in blue robes. Above the portal is a golden moon and a seven-spiked golden star and underneath it and above 4 silver waves a red painted wall.”

In 2004, Aarhus Municipality commissioned the creation of a modernized logo, drawing its inspiration from the seal used in the year 1250.

Aarhus Coat of arms
Aarhus Coat of arms

Interesting Facts About Aarhus

Adopted1938 (Originally, 1250)