'Copenhagen's Notre Dame moment': Watch as fire rips through one of Danish capital's oldest buildings

'Copenhagen's Notre Dame moment': Watch as fire rips through one of Danish capital's oldest buildings

Watch the moment Copenhagen's Stock Exchange spire falls

GB News/X
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 16/04/2024

- 08:21

Updated: 16/04/2024

- 09:51

The 'terrifying' blaze, which engulfed Copenhagen's Old Stock Exchange, was lamented as '400 years of Danish cultural heritage in flames'

One of the oldest buildings in Danish capital Copenhagen has been partially destroyed by fire today, with the huge blaze sending debris into the streets below and thick smoke into the air.

The Old Stock Exchange, or Børsen, was seen burning this morning - with locals taking to social media to share dramatic images of the damage to the landmark.

Soon after the fire broke out, Copenhagen Police said on social media: "Due to a development in Børsen, we are currently extensively present in inner Copenhagen.

Police said they "expect the area to be cordoned off for a longer period of time", and encouraged drivers to find alternative routes.

Fire in Copenhagen collage

Photographers caught locals looking on in shock as the blaze ripped through the building this morning


Just before 8am, the city's fire department said it was "massively on [their] way" to Slotsholmsgade, the street on which Børsen sits, after receiving reports of "heavy smoke from the roof".

Authorities have confirmed evacuations were underway; police said they were "now in the process of evacuating" staff from buildings including the nearby Finance Ministry towards the water.

The historic site was undergoing renovation work when the inferno erupted earlier, with officials from the building's owner, the Danish Chamber of Commerce, scrambling to recover paintings from inside.

Local media have reported that nobody has been harmed by the blaze, but residents were quick to express their dismay at the damage to the iconic landmark - one compared it to the fire which engulfed Paris' Notre Dame cathedral in 2019, calling it "Copenhagen's Notre Dame moment".


Officials removing paintings/spire on fire

Danish Chamber of Commerce officials scrambled to remove precious artworks from the building as it burned


Morten Skærbæk, a journalist from Danish outlet Politiken, said: "The Stock Exchange itself is wrapped in scaffolding, but the tower is sticking up and there is really a lot of fire - it's like a torch.

"The scaffolding apparently makes it impossible for the fire brigade to get close to the tower. There is still a firefighter spraying on it, but it seems useless."

Jakob Engel-Schmidt, Denmark's culture minister, said: "How touching it is to experience how the employees at Børsen, good people from the emergency services and passing Copenhageners collaborate[d] to save art treasures and iconic images from the burning building."

Engel-Schmidt added: "Terrifying images from Børsen this morning. 400 years of Danish cultural heritage in flames."

Fire at Old Stock Echange, CopenhagenDramatic footage from social media captured the moment the Børsen's spire toppledX
Spire falling over

The 17th-Century building's iconic 'dragon-tailed spire' plummeted into the street below as a result of the blaze


Another reporter from Politiken, Lars Dahlager, said: "This is crazy... I've never seen such a big fire in my life.

The fire has grown more and more serious - it seems to be spreading to a larger part of the building."

The building dates back to 1625, and its iconic - yet now destroyed - crowned 'dragon-tailed spire' symbolised the three constituent kingdoms of Scandinavia - Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

According to VisitCopenhagen, an official Danish Tourist Office website, the Old Stock Exchange had "many times been mysteriously spared from damage when fires have broken out in neighbouring buildings".

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