With its octagonal shape, the Karlshofbrunnen is reminiscent of the octagon of Aachen Cathedral.
The Karlshof courtyard is somewhat hidden behind the Marktapotheke chemists. In the summer in particular, when the tables of the cafés and restaurants are out, it offers a peaceful alternative to the busy Marktplatz market square. The fountain in the centre of the courtyard throws up small jets into the air, and cools off passers by on hot days. Its bronze reliefs show the seven free arts and commemorate the teachers whom Charlemagne the Great once brought to Aachen.