The golden ratio is also known as the divine proportion, the golden proportion, or the golden number
Europe is known around the world for the outstanding architecture that defines each country's unique culture. Whether it is the iconic Spanish Baroque style, or the distinctive Gothic style that can only be found in Romania, some of the most beautiful university buildings can be on the continent.
Europe is also home to some of the most prestigious learning institutions on the planet. That’s why The Knowledge Academy was keen to uncover just which of these universities was the most beautiful, according to the golden ratio.
What is the golden ratio?
The golden ratio is also known as the divine proportion, the golden proportion, or the golden number. It is a ratio between two numbers that equates to roughly 1.618. Skipping over all of the mathematical principles involved, the closer a ratio is to 1.618, the more pleasing to the eye it is. In the case of the following buildings, it is the ratio of width to height that makes them so gorgeous to look at.
1st - University of Bucharest, Romania
Ranking as the most beautiful university in Europe is the University of Bucharest in Romania. 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!
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 huge 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 style 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.
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!
5th - Aarhus University, Denmark
Ranking fifth is Aarhus University in Denmark. The campus is centered 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.