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The largest lake of Denmark, Arresø, lies around 27 miles (43 kilometers) northwest of the City Hall Square.

Copenhagen is home to the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark and Copenhagen Business School.

Substantial discoveries of flint tools in the area provide evidence of human settlements dating to the Stone Age.

The earliest written mention of the town was in the 12th century when Saxo Grammaticus in Gesta Danorum referred to it as Portus Mercatorum, meaning Merchants' Harbour or, in the Danish of the time, Købmannahavn.

Since the turn of the 21st century, Copenhagen has seen strong urban and cultural development, facilitated by investment in its institutions and infrastructure.

The city is the cultural, economic and governmental centre of Denmark; it is one of the major financial centres of Northern Europe with the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

This makes it the oldest university in Denmark and one of the oldest in Europe.

The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.

As the fishing industry thrived in Copenhagen, particularly in the trade of herring, the city began expanding to the north of Slotsholmen.

With the establishment of the Kalmar Union (1397–1523) between Denmark, Norway and Sweden, by about 1416 Copenhagen had emerged as the capital of Denmark when Eric of Pomerania moved his seat to Copenhagen Castle.

After suffering from the effects of plague and fire in the 18th century, the city underwent a period of redevelopment.

This included construction of the prestigious district of Frederiksstaden and founding of such cultural institutions as the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

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