Historic Copenhagen Stock Exchange in Flames: Danish Architects Association in Disbelief

Copenhagen's beloved Stock Exchange, known for its iconic lead dragon tower, was engulfed in flames today amidst its 400th-anniversary restoration. This tragedy prompts urgent discussions in the construction and insurance industries on safeguarding invaluable cultural heritage, reminiscent of the Notre Dame fire that occurred almost exactly five years ago.

The Danish Association of Architects has published the following statement on LinkedIn.

“Can it really be true that this happens again and again? It is so infinitely sad to see the Stock Exchange burning today. The building is known and loved by everyone and is part of Copenhagen’s skyline – not least because of the iconic lead dragon tower, which has survived several large fires and Copenhagen’s devastating bombardment.

While the building was constructed in 1619-24 under the direction of the two architects and Lorenz brothers, the tower itself was built in 1615 according to drawings by firework designer Ludvig Heidritter and with Steenwinckel d.y. as the architect.

The dragons likely have a mythological significance as protective beings for the people of the lake. In 1765, the tower was close to collapsing because a foundation ring that went down to the ground had not been made. At that time, the spire was taken down, and it was discussed whether it should be replaced with a dome. However, this was prevented, and the tower we know was rebuilt in 1777 – largely as a copy of the original. The stock exchange has undergone several changes over time, and as most people know, the building was just being restored on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of its construction. You can read more about this in Arkitekten 02/2024 (Danish).

Unfortunately, this is not the first time we see invaluable cultural heritage burning in the middle of a restoration. In Denmark, it has surpassed i.a. The Castle Church, Odd Fellow Palace, Dehns Palace, and Sparresholm, and everyone knows about Notre Dame, which burned down almost exactly 5 years ago.

May this catastrophic event become an occasion for the construction industry and the insurance industry to come together and find solutions to prevent it from happening again.”

Source: The Danish Association of Architects (LinkedIn)

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