Traffic resumes near Copenhagen’s Old Stock Exchange after a fire ruined the 400-year-old landmark

Traffic has begun to flow Monday near Copenhagen’s historic Old Stock Exchange which was half-destroyed by fire last week

Via AP news wire
Monday 22 April 2024 11:53 BST

Traffic began to flow Monday near Copenhagen’s historic Old Stock Exchange which was half-destroyed by fire last week.

A busy bridge reopened and police were allowed to enter the ruins. Firefighters scaled down their presence, with some remaining there protectively in case small pockets of fire reignite or walls tumble.

Though some streets near the 400-year-old landmark were still blocked for traffic, drivers were able to reach the city’s center via Knippel Bridge for the first time since the fire.

”Now we are at a stage where the police can come in and inspect some things,” said Jakob Vedsted Andersen, head of the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department, adding that police quickly checked out wreckage after firefighters stabilized it.

The cause of the fire was still unknown, Vedsted Andersen said.

Tuesday's blaze destroyed more than half the building that was under renovation, toppling the green copper roof and the iconic dragon-tail spire. The most valuable paintings and items inside had been saved from the flames, and no one was injured.

Many people came to see the ruins over the weekend.

On Thursday, a large section of the outer wall of the building collapsed inwards. The following day, firefighters used giant shears on a crane to cut away dangling scaffolding but suffered a setback after a crane's shear attachment, used to cut through debris, fell into the ruins. It was later recovered.

The blaze is believed to have started on the roof of the building, which had been wrapped up in scaffolding.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce which owns the building, dating back to 1615, and was headquartered there, has vowed repeatedly to rebuild the Old Stock Exchange. No decision has yet been made about who will finance the reconstruction, a project that would cost millions, if not billions of kroner (dollars) and take years.

The exchange sits on the waterfront next to the Danish parliament. It is considered a leading example of the Dutch Renaissance architectural style in Denmark. The Chamber of Commerce moved into the building after Copenhagen’s stock exchange left in 1974.

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