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City of Chester with lots of people walking
Photograph: Takashi Images / Shutterstock.com

This small northern city has just been named the most beautiful in the world

Chester has the highest percentage of buildings that align with the ‘golden ratio’

Written by
Chiara Wilkinson
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You’d think that the most beautiful city in the world would be Paris, Kyoto or Florence, right? A random city in north-west England with one Aldi, four Greggs and around 79,645 people probably wouldn’t spring to mind.

But according to good old science, the most beautiful city in the world is actually Chester, thanks to it having the highest percentage of buildings that align with the ‘golden ratio’ – the mathematical ratio of proportions that’s said to be a barometer of beauty.

Researchers from Online Mortgage Advisor ranked the most eye-catching cities by scanning Google Street View for front-facing photos of hundreds of streets and more than 2,400 buildings from cities across the globe. They plotted points at the corners of each building to calculate the proportion between its longest and shortest sides, before comparing it to the golden ratio.

Chester scored 83.7 percent, beating Venice to the top spot (with 83.3 percent). London came third with 83 percent, Belfast came fourth with 82.9 percent and Rome scooped up fifth with 82 percent. 

The golden ratio is believed to reflect natural aesthetic perfection, and can be found in Le Corbusier’s buildings and Leonardo da Vinci’s art, as well as in flowers, pinecones, shells and hurricanes. 

You can find out more about the study here

ICYMI: this UK city has just been named the ugliest in the world.

Plus: you can buy this entire Scottish island for less than the average London flat.

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