Dezeen Magazine

Copenhagen's old stock exchange

Fire engulfs Copenhagen's old stock exchange causing spire to collapse

A fire has broken out at the 17th-century Børsen building in Copenhagen, Denmark, causing its iconic dragon tail-shaped spire to collapse.

The fire at the building, which was once the city's stock exchange, began early this morning with the 56-metre-tall spire collapsing around 8:30am local time.

Built in 1615, the Renaissance-style building is one of the most famous buildings in the Danish capital. The fire was described by the country's deputy prime minister Troels Lund Poulsen as "our own Notre-Dame moment".

The structure, which was topped by a spire resembling the tails of four dragons intertwined, is currently surrounded by scaffolding due to ongoing renovation work.

A fire has engulfed Copenhagen's old stock exchange

Culture minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt said "400 years of Danish cultural heritage [are] in flames".

While the building no longer houses the stock exchange, it is currently the headquarters of the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

"We are met by a terrible sight," the Chamber of Commerce wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "The stock market is on fire. Everyone is asked to stay away from the area around Slotsholmen. The fire authorities are on the scene," it said.

The event has been described as Copenhagen's "own Notre Dame moment"

There are currently no reports of injuries but the nearby square is said to have been evacuated as thick smoke continues to rise from the structure. People have also been seen saving large paintings from the building, reported the Guardian.

Deputy prime minister Poulsen's comparison to Notre-Dame harks back to the fire that broke out there in 2019, causing the landmark cathedral's spire to collapse.

The news made international headlines and widespread speculation about the future of the building and its spire, with a flurry of designers offering proposals for a replacement.

However, French president Emmanuel Macron said he would ensure the building was rebuilt "identically" to how it was before the event. It is expected to reopen in 2025.

The event is also reminiscent of the second fire at Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art in 2018, which came as a major restoration led by architects Page\Park was underway. The works were being carried out to repair damage from the previous fire in 2014.

Four years later, the inquiry into the cause of the fire that destroyed the building failed to reach a conclusion due to insufficient evidence.

The main photo is by Dan Lundberg via Wikimedia Commons.