Published 17:10 IST, April 16th 2024

Exploring the History of Copenhagen's 17th Century Building Devastated by Fire

Built in the Dutch Renaissance style, the Old Stock Exchange stands proudly on the waterfront next to Denmark's parliament.

Reported by: Digital Desk
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Old stock exchange, Copenhagen | Image: AP

A devastating fire at Copenhagen's Old Stock Exchange on Tuesday not only engulfed its spire but also drew comparisons to the infamous 2019 blaze at Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral. Here's what we know about this historic landmark:

Copenhagen's Old Stock Exchange: Built in the Dutch Renaissance style, the Old Stock Exchange stands proudly on the waterfront next to Denmark's parliament. It was commissioned by King Christian IV and officially opened its doors in 1624, serving as a hub for commodities trading.


Original Purpose: Initially, the building housed market stalls, but in the late 19th century, it transitioned into the Copenhagen Stock Exchange until 1974. Today, it serves as the headquarters and conference venue for the Danish Chamber of Commerce, which has owned the building since 1857.

Iconic Tower: The most recognizable feature of the Old Stock Exchange was its dragon-tailed spire, renowned as one of Copenhagen's most beloved landmarks. Symbolically, the spire was seen as both a protector against enemies and fire, according to the Chamber's website. King Christian IV himself ordered its design by his firework master to enhance the building's aesthetic appeal.


Tuesday's Tragedy: Flames and thick smoke billowed from the building on Tuesday morning, marking a tragic turn for the historic site. The cause of the blaze remains unknown, though the building was undergoing extensive restoration in preparation for its 400th anniversary, aiming to restore its original Renaissance style.

Challenges for Emergency Services: The presence of scaffolding around the building complicated firefighting efforts, hindering emergency services' access to the flames. Additionally, the copper roof of the structure preserved heat, further complicating the situation for responders.


As investigations into the fire continue, Copenhagen mourns the loss of an architectural gem and a piece of its rich history. The Old Stock Exchange's significance transcends its physical structure, representing centuries of commerce, culture, and resilience in the Danish capital.

17:10 IST, April 16th 2024