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Inspire Your Teenager by Visiting the Most Beautiful Universities in Europe

by Aoife O'Riordan

May 10, 2023

University of Bucharest © Datsenko Marina | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Europe

Many teenagers cannot wait to go off to college, and what better way to inspire them than by planning family travel to Europe to see some of the continent’s most beautiful universities? While the United States boasts countless colleges and universities, none are nearly as old as the ones found in Europe.


The Knowledge Academy, a global training company across various disciplines, recently looked at universities across Europe using the golden ratio. A mathematical ratio, it theorizes buildings, faces or artwork closest to this ratio are the most aesthetically pleasing.


The study found these universities and, more specifically, buildings, are the most beautiful in Europe according to the golden ratio:


  1. University of Bucharest, Romania – Central University Library
  2. University of Catania, Italy – Main Building
  3. University of Oxford, England – Radcliffe Camera
  4. Paris-Sorbonne University, France – Sorbonne Building
  5. Aarhus University, Denmark – Main Building
  6. Heidelberg University, Germany – University Library
  7. Jagiellonian University, Poland – Collegium Novum
  8. University of St. Andrews, Scotland – St. Salvator’s Chapel
  9. University of Glasgow, Scotland – Gilbert Scott Building
  10. University of Leuven, Belgium – Arenberg Castle


Closest to the golden ratio, University of Bucharest’s Central Library dates back to 1895 and is both a library and cultural landmark. The library sits across from the National Museum of Art of Romania and often hosts concerts.


Coming in second, University of Catania boasts the Palace of the University, a beautiful building constructed after the 1693 earthquake. The building is a symbol of Catanian Baroque architecture. The University of Oxford rounds out the top three, with the Radcliffe Camera building a must-see while on the campus. This Neo-Classical structure is home to Radcliffe Science Library and the first example of a circular library in England. Visitors can even tour the inside as part of the Bodleian Libraries guided tours.


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