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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.The major university is the University of Aalborg, founded in 1974, which has more than 20,000 students (as of 2016).The University College of Northern Denmark is one of seven new regional organisations while the Royal School of Library and Information Science (RSLIS) provides higher education in library and information science.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.
1040, the period when King Harthacnut (Hardeknud) settled in the area. 1075, Adam of Bremen reported that Alaburg, as he called it in German, was an important harbour for ships sailing to Norway.
The sites of what were two settlements and a burial ground can be seen on Lindholm Høje, a hill overlooking the city.
These large settlements, one from the 6th-century Germanic Iron Age, the other from the Viking Age in the 9th to 11th centuries, evolved at the narrowest point on Limfjord as a result of the traffic between Himmerland to the south and Vendsyssel to the north.
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.