Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

In pictures: Fire rips through Copenhagen’s historic stock exchange building

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024
Key Points
  • The fire began in the copper roof of the Old Stock Exchange and spread to much of the building and the roof.
  • The building is a popular tourist attraction and has been photographed millions of times.
  • The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Fire has raged through one of Copenhagen’s oldest buildings, causing the collapse of the iconic spire from the 17th-century Old Stock Exchange as passers-by rushed to help emergency services save priceless paintings and other valuables.

Firefighters extinguish a fire at the Stock Exchange in Copenhagen.

Brian Mikkelsen, chief of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, which is headquartered in the Old Stock Exchange, and his staff were seen scrolling through a binder with photos of paintings to be saved. “It is a national disaster,” Mikkelsen told reporters. Source: AAP / Mads Claus Rasmussen

The fire began in the copper roof of the Old Stock Exchange, or Boersen, spread to much of the building and the roof, parts of which also collapsed, and destroyed the building’s interior, firefighters’ spokesperson Jakob Vedsted Andersen said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Smoke rises after a major fire broke out.

A spokesman for the company working on renovating the building said the carpenters who worked on the roof had all escaped the fire. Source: Getty / Anadolu

The building, which is next to the Christiansborg Palace where the parliament sits, is a popular tourist attraction and has been photographed millions of times.

Its distinctive spire, in the shape of the tails of four dragons twined together, reached a height of 56 metres.

A historic red brick building

The roof of the 17th-century old Stock Exchange, or Boersen, which was once Denmark’s financial centre, was engulfed in flames on Tuesday. Source: AP / Linda Kastrup

Huge billows of smoke rose over downtown Copenhagen and people were seen rushing inside the building to save paintings.

Firefighters walk by part of the burnt-out spire on the street after a fire at the Stock Exchange in Copenhagen.

Firefighters who reportedly pumped water from the nearby canal were seen spraying water through the doorway of the Old Stock Exchange’s gilded hall that is used for gala dinners, conferences, parties and other events and where many of the paintings hung. Source: AAP / Mads Claus Rasmussen

Witnesses watched in tears as more than 100 firefighters battled to save the building.

“This is our Notre-Dame! This is a national treasure,” local resident, 45-year-old Elisabeth Moltke, told AFP.

Paintings being carried out of a burning building.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen wrote that “irreplaceable cultural heritage” and “a piece of Danish history is on fire”. Source: AAP / Ida Marie Odgaard

Ambulances were at the scene but there were no reports of casualties.

King Frederik wrote on Instagram that “they woke up to a sad sight” of “an important part of our architectural heritage” being destroyed by the flames.

The building and the spire had been encased in scaffolding, which later collapsed in the fire.

The roof, masonry, sandstone and spire of Boersen — built in 1615 and considered a leading example of Dutch Renaissance style in Denmark — was being renovated, said the Chamber of Commerce, which moved into the building after Copenhagen’s stock exchange left in 1974.

Art being carried from a burning building.

Former Danish Minister of Culture Brian Mikkelsen assists with the evacuation of paintings from the Boersen burning in Copenhagen. Source: AAP / Ida Marie Odgaard

The adjacent Christiansborg Palace has burned down on several occasions, and most recently in 1990 a fire broke out in an annex of the Danish parliament, known as Proviantgaarden.

However, the Old Stock Exchange survived unscathed.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “In pictures: Fire rips through Copenhagen’s historic stock exchange building”
  1. I can’t believe such a historical and iconic building like the Old Stock Exchange in Copenhagen has been ravaged by fire. It’s heartbreaking to see the damage caused to such a significant landmark. Let’s hope that they can restore and preserve as much as possible of this national treasure.

  2. I can’t believe such a tragic incident happened to such a historic and iconic building. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this fire. It’s devastating to see such irreplaceable pieces of art and history potentially lost forever. Hopefully, the authorities can determine the cause of the fire and prevent such disasters in the future.

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