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Denmark. Fire at the historic stock exchange in Copenhagen

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The historic Copenhagen Stock Exchange burned down. The icon of the capital of Denmark has survived for 399 years. – This is a national tragedy – said Mads Damsbo, director of Christiansborg Castle located nearby. There are no reports of anyone being hurt in the fire.

The fire broke out on Tuesday morning on the roof, where renovation works were underway, and then spread to the lower floors.

– The Old Stock Exchange building is an icon of the city. The building was ordered by King Christian IV, known as the builder of Denmark, thanks to whom many important buildings for Copenhagen were built – such as Rosenberg Castle or the Round Tower – explained the director of Christiansborg Castle, Mads Damsbo, at a press conference.

He added that “the architecture of the building was intended to show the royal vision of Copenhagen's central place in international trade.”

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– The stock exchange building had to be spectacular – he noted. According to legend, mythical beasts on the 56-meter-high spire protected the Stock Exchange against enemy attacks – Swedes, British or Germans, as well as fire that consumed the neighboring Christiansborg Castle in the past.

– The losses caused by the fire are huge, even if part of the building and the paintings taken from inside are saved, Damsbo said. – This is a national tragedy for us, Danes, for our heritage. It is also a loss for the history of capitalism, he argued.

Damsbo reminded that old wood is particularly susceptible to fire, and in a densely built-up city such as Copenhagen, it is easy to find a source of fire.

There are no reports of any injuries

As Reuters previously reported, local media showed photos and videos showing people carrying large paintings out of the building to save them from the flames. Danish media reported that all people in the building had been evacuated, but there was no information about any injuries.

“400 years of Danish cultural heritage in flames,” wrote the Danish Minister of Culture, Jakob Engel-Schmidt, on social media.

The Dutch Renaissance-style building is no longer the seat of the Danish Stock Exchange, but serves as the headquarters of the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

“We are met with a terrible sight. The stock exchange is on fire,” wrote the Chamber of Commerce on the X website.

Symbol of Copenhagen

The Copenhagen Stock Exchange is located in the very center of the city, near the parliament building. It is one of the oldest and most characteristic buildings in Copenhagen. It was built in 1625. Its spire, which was consumed by fire, was shaped like the intertwined tails of four dragons.

The construction of the 150-meter-long red brick and sandstone Stock Exchange, designed by the architect brothers Lorenz and Hans van Steenwinckel, began in 1618, and its roof was completed in 1624, so the modernization of this part was to be ready for the 400th anniversary. Until 1659, the sheathing was made of lead. It was melted down to make cannonballs needed for Denmark's wars with Sweden. Then the roof was covered with copper.

Copenhagen Stock Exchange before the fire (spire visible in the center)Shutterstock

Reuters, DR, tvn24.pl, PAP

Main photo source: Emil Helms/EPA

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