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March 3, 2024
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Bucharest Central University Library Ranks 1st as Most Beautiful University Building by Golden Ratio

A new study, cited by Visit Bucharest, reveals that the Central University Library of Bucharest is the most beautiful in Europe, according to the golden ratio!

Many of the 2,706 universities across Europe boast some of the most iconic landmarks and breathtaking buildings that deserve a place on travel bucket lists, but which universities are the most beautiful according to science?

The golden ratio is a mathematical ratio, and it is theorized that buildings, faces, or artworks closest to this ratio are the most well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing.

Keen to utilize this theory further, The Knowledge Academy set out to determine how close university buildings across Europe align with the golden ratio and which universities are the most beautiful, according to science.

The complete study can be checked on the platform’s website.

The top 10 most beautiful universities in Europe, according to the golden ratio

 UniversityBuildingRatioPercentage similarity to the golden ratio
1University of Bucharest, RomaniaCentral University Library1.52205882494.07%
2University of Catania, ItalyMain Building1.78793103489.50%
3University of Oxford, EnglandRadcliffe Camera1.43660212488.79%
4Paris-Sorbonne University, FranceSorbonne Building1.90014903182.56%
5Aarhus University, DenmarkMain Building1.90655172482.17%
6Heidelberg University, GermanyUniversity Library1.27024390278.51%
7Jagiellonian University, PolandCollegium Novum1.98577.32%
8University of St. Andrews, ScotlandSt Salvator’s Chapel1.20931818274.74%
9University of Glasgow, ScotlandGilbert Scott Building2.03074074174.49%
10University of Leuven, BelgiumArenberg Castle2.12393939468.73%

Most beautiful university buildings in the world, according to Golden Ratio

Golden Ratio universities in the World

1st – University of Bucharest, Romania

Revolution Square-Carol I University Foundation

The Central Library of Bucharest University in Bucharest, Romania is ranked as the most beautiful university in Europe. The Central Library of Bucharest University, designed by French architect Paul Gottereau, opened its doors in 1895. A project of King Carol I, it is not only beautiful but also known as a cultural landmark. The building’s width-to-height ratio is 1.522, giving it an astonishing 94.07% similarity to the golden ratio, making it an almost aesthetically perfect building according to science. It is worth visiting this beautiful University Library, opposite the National Museum of Art of Romania, which often hosts concerts.

The building is situated in Revolution Square, a place holding significance for the Romanian people, as the spot where the so-called Romanian Revolution started.

2nd – University of Catania, Italy

In second place is Palazzo dell’Università, or Palace of the University, a beautiful palace and home to the University of Catania, the oldest university in Sicily. Its width-to-height ratio of 1.788 gives it a vast 89.5% similarity with the golden ratio. Constructed after the 1693 earthquake, it is an iconic landmark and symbol of Catanian baroque architecture.

3rd – University of Oxford, England

Ranking third is the historic University of Oxford in England. The iconic Radcliffe Camera is a neo-classical building that houses the Radcliffe Science Library. The ‘Rad Cam’ is the first example of a circular library in England, and its 1.437 ratio makes it 88.79%, similar to the golden ratio. If the beautiful exterior isn’t enough, it’s also possible to view the inside as part of the Bodleian Libraries guided tours.

4th – Paris-Sorbonne University, France

In fourth place is the historic Sorbonne University building, which lies in the heart of the Latin Quarter and is an iconic feature of Parisian architecture. The stunning building has a 1.9 width-to-height ratio, giving it an 82.56% similarity to the golden ratio and putting it 4th in our rankings! As well as offering guided tours, the Sorbonne is surrounded by restaurants and shops in the beautiful Latin Quarter.

5th – Aarhus University, Denmark

Ranking fifth is Aarhus University in Denmark. The campus is centred around the stunning University Park, which spans 15 hectares, and the main building sits at the park’s northern edge. As well as its minimalist yet stunning architecture, the building’s width-to-height ratio of 1.907 shares an 82.17% similarity with the golden ratio. As well as boasting beautiful buildings and a green oasis, University Park is also home to the Natural History Museum Aarhus and the Steno Museum (the Science Museums at Aarhus University).

1 comment

John Berwick September 11, 2023 at 7:30 am

Bucharest University library is ranked as the most perfectly PROPORTIONED university building, not the most beautiful. The classical criterion of the “Golden Mean” is only ONE aspect of good architecture. Moreover, classical aesthetics are only relevant to classical and neo-classical buildings. It’s absurd to claim that Bucharest has the most beautiful library in the world!


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