Iconic Copenhagen Stock Exchange Spire Collapses in Fire

Devastating fire destroys iconic 17th-century Copenhagen Stock Exchange, causing collapse of its dragon-tail spire. Authorities vow to rebuild this cultural heritage site, highlighting the challenges of protecting irreplaceable landmarks.

Wojciech Zylm
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Iconic Copenhagen Stock Exchange Spire Collapses in Fire

Iconic Copenhagen Stock Exchange Spire Collapses in Fire

A devastating fire engulfed the historic Copenhagen Stock Exchange building on Tuesday, causing the collapse of its iconic dragon-tail spire. The 17th-century building, known as Børsen, was undergoing renovations when the blaze broke out on the copper roof.

Firefighters battled the flames, which quickly spread to the distinctive 184-foot spire shaped like four intertwined dragon tails. The spire, a symbol of the city's skyline, collapsed onto the building in a scene reminiscent of the 2019 Notre-Dame cathedral fire in Paris.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen expressed sadness over the loss, calling it "400 years of Danish cultural heritage going up in flames." The stock exchange, located next to the parliament building, is a major tourist attraction and an example of Dutch Renaissance architecture in Denmark.

While no injuries were reported, the fire destroyed about half of the building. Firefighters and volunteers rushed to save priceless paintings and other valuable artifacts from the gilded hall. Former Danish Minister of Culture Brian Mikkelsen was seen assisting with the evacuation of artworks.

Why this matters: The Børsen building is a significant part of Denmark's cultural heritage and a symbol of Copenhagen's prominence as a global trade center. The loss of this historic landmark has been compared to the Notre-Dame fire and highlights the challenges of protecting irreplaceable cultural sites.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but authorities noted that the ongoing renovations and scaffolding may have complicated firefighting efforts. The Danish Chamber of Commerce, which owns the building, has vowed to rebuild the stock exchange no matter what."

Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt described the incident as a loss of "400 years of Danish cultural heritage." While some artworks were saved, the extent of the damage to the building's interior and valuable art collection is still being assessed. Experts estimate that the restoration of the Børsen could take up to 10 years and cost millions of Danish kroner.

Key Takeaways

  • Fire destroys Copenhagen's 17th-century Stock Exchange, collapsing its iconic spire.
  • No injuries reported, but about half the building was destroyed, including priceless artifacts.
  • Ongoing renovations may have complicated firefighting efforts, cause still under investigation.
  • Danish PM calls it a loss of 400 years of cultural heritage, restoration could take 10 years.
  • Danish Chamber of Commerce vows to rebuild the historic landmark despite the devastation.