Massive fire engulfs Copenhagen’s historic stock exchange

Devastating fire engulfs Copenhagen's Borsen, a symbol of Danish heritage, as witnesses recount the horror of witnessing the historic building's destruction.

A huge fire on Tuesday devastated Copenhagen’s 17th century former stock exchange toppling the historic building’s landmark spire in front of horrified witnesses.

The 54-metre (180-foot) spire disappeared into flames at the Borsen building, which has been undergoing renovation, an AFP journalist saw.

The spire snapped and crashed down onto the street below. Dramatic photographs showed huge plumes of black smoke emerging from the building.

The Borsen building, commissioned by King Christian IV and built between 1619 and 1640, is one of Copenhagen’s best known landmarks.

“Terrifying images from Borsen this morning. 400 years of Danish cultural heritage going up in flames,” Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt wrote in a post to X, the former Twitter.

The images recalled the disaster at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, almost five years ago to the day when its spire was also destroyed by a fire.

“This is our Notre Dame, it is our national treasure,” said Elisabeth Moltke, a 45-year-old Copenhagen resident, who watched the blaze.  Others could not hold back tears as they watched the devastation.

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Engel-Schmidt said he had been moved by seeing employees, rescue workers and residents working to “rescue art treasures and iconic paintings from the burning building.”

Images from the scene showed several people rescuing works of art, including a painting of the building.

Located next to the Danish parliament, Christiansborg Palace, the building housed the stock exchange until the 1970s and currently serves as the headquarters of the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Danish Chamber of Commerce the fire started at 7:30 am (0530 GMT).

“We are currently working on saving everything that can be saved,” director Morten Langager, said in a post to X.

Police said they had blocked off parts of the city centre as part of the fire fighting efforts.

The red-brick and copper roof building, one of the oldest in the Danish capital, was undergoing renovation work when it caught fire, the cause of which was yet unknown.

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– By: © Agence France-Presse

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