The Stock Exchange (Børsen)
The Stock Exchange is one of Copenhagen's most spectacular and oldest buildings. Christian IV had it built in 1620, in an effort to turn Copenhagen into a financial center that would rival Amsterdam. The Stock Exchange was built on top of water, on filled-in foundations. Because canals surrounded it on three sides, the building has managed to survive the various fires that have ravaged Copenhagen through the years. The long building is magnificently decorated with dormer windows, but the Stock Exchange's most noticeable feature is the spire. Four dragons with intertwined tails form the spire, and it is topped by three golden crowns that symbolize the three Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Today, the Copenhagen Chamber of Commerce still uses the big hall for meetings, even though the stock exchange has moved to Nikolaj Plads. Visitors cannot enter, but the building itself is breathtaking.