Architects: C.J.H. Franssen (1860-1932)

Caspar Johannes Hubertus Franssen was born in Tegelen (L) on June the 6th 1860 as the son of a manufacturer of roofing tiles, Caspar Franssen had several jobs before in 1883 becoming an overseer for the office of P.J.H. Cuypers. His first project for Cuypers was the restoration of the church in Sambeek, but according to some sources Franssen's first architectural experience was the restoration of a chapel in Lomm in 1881. At the Cuypers office Franssen became a trained architect. In 1888 he started his own office in Tegelen, which moved to Roermond in 1892. He continued his successful career until his death in Roermond on january the 2nd 1932. His son J. Franssen continued the office for several more decades.

Franssen is best known for his churches, which were mostly designed in a conservative neo-Gothic style, although there were several neo-Romanesque designs as well. In all he built ca. 40 churches, mostly in the dioceses of 's-Hertogenbosch and Roermond, while he restored or rebuilt many more. Besides churches, he designed schools, monasteries, houses and other types of buildings.

The following is an incomplete listing of Franssen's work.


1888 Tegelen (L): Trappist-abbey Ulingsheide

Complex with brewery in neo-Gothic style. Later extended and partly replaced.


1888-1893 Bergeijk (NB): restoration church St. Petrus' Banden



 Restoration of a medieval church. Reconstruction of the two western traves of the nave, as well as the addition of a new facade. Heightening of the stair-turret near the choir. New traceries of natural stone. During a restoration in 1975-1977 most of the pinacles added by Franssen were removed.


1890-1891 Nederasselt (G): church St. Antonius Abt




Three-aisled neo-Gothic basilica.


1891 Beers (NB): church St. Lambertus

Three-aisled cruciform basilica in
neo-Gothic style, incorporating a 15th-century tower.


1892-1893 Geffen (NB): restoration church St. Maria Magdalena



Replacement of medieval choir by a transept and a new choir.


1892-1893 Bergharen (G): church St. Anna



Three-aisled neo-Gothic cruciform basilica with big square crossing-tower.


1893 Oostelbeers (NB): tower church H.H. Andreas en Antonius van Padua





Neo-Gothic tower of four segments for an older church which was later demolished.


1895-1898 Weurt (G): church St. Andreas



Three-aisled neo-Gothic basilica.


1895-1899 Riethoven (NB): church St. Willibrordus




Neo-Gothic pseudo-basilican cruciform church with tower, incorporating parts of a 15th-century church.


1896-1898 Asten (NB): church O.L. Vrouwe Presentatie





Big three-aisled cruciform neo-Gothic basilica, inspired by 13th-century French Gothic. Choir with ambulatory and radiating chapels. Tower with corner-turrets.


1896 Mierlo-Hout (NB): church St. Lucia

Three-aisled neo-Gothic cruciform basilican church.


1896 Loo (NB): tower church St. Petrus' Banden





Neo-Gothic tower for a church designed by C. Weber.


1896-1897 Swalmen (L): church H. Lambertus




Three-aisled pseudo-basilican church in neo-Gothic style, incorporating an older tower.


1897-1899 Blerick (L): church H. Antonius van Padua

Three-aisled cruciform basilican church in richly ornamented neo-Gothic style. In 1897 this church won a golden medal in Brussel (Belgium) for the most beautiful village church. Destroyed in 1944.


1897 Linne (L): church St. Martinus




Franssen's first church in neo-Romanesque style. Three-aisled basilica with a short choir with semi-round apse. Tower destroyed in 1945 and rebuilt in 1950-1951.


1898-1899 Enschot (NB): church St. Cecilia



Three-aisled neo-Gothic basilica. Tower with octagonal upper segment.


1898-1900 Beneden-Leeuwen (G): church St. Alphonsus de Liguori



Three-aisled cruciform basilica in a combination of neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic styles. Wooden octagonal crossing-tower. A tower was planned but not built.


1898 Beek en Donk (NB): church St. Leonardus de Noblac




Three-aisled neo-Gothic basilica. In 1929 C. Roffelsen added two more side-aisles.


1899-1900 Tegelen (L): church St. Martinus

Three-aisled neo-Gothic cruciform basilican church in neo-Gothic style, incorporating an older tower. One of the side-aisle is narrower at one point because of a grave. Polygonal transept-arms. Tower damaged in World War Two and in 1956 heightened by J. Franssen.


1899 Haps (NB): church St. Nicolaas

Three-aisled neo-Gothic cruciform basilican church. Tower of four segments, crowned by an octagonal spire, balustrade and flanking turrets.


1899-1901 Liessel (NB): church St. Willibrordus

Three-aisled neo-Gothic cruciform basilican church. Damaged in 1944 and repaired by architect S.J.P. van der Sluijs.

1899 Den Dungen (NB): enlargement church St. Jacobus de Meerdere

Addition of a neo-Gothic tower and baptistery  to a Gothic church.

1899-1901 Boxtel (NB): church H. Hart



Three-aisled neo-Gothic basilica. The facade is flanked by two stair-turrets, the transept has polygonal closures.


1899-1900 Lith (NB): church St. Lambertus

Three-aisled cruciform basilican church in sober neo-Gothic style.


1900-1906 Heel (L): church St. Stephanus Vinding



Neo-Gothic cruciform pseudo-basilica incorporating an older tower. Executed in marl.


1900-1901 Lithoijen (NB): church St. Remigus

Neo-Gothic pseudo-basilican church.


1901 Steijl (L): chapel Convent Zusters van de Goddelijke Voorzienigheid

Big chapel in neo-Gothic style.

1900-1901 Beuningen (G): church St. Cornelis




 Three-aisled basilican church.


1902-1904 Mortel (NB): church St. Antonius Abt

Three-aisled neo-Gothic cruciform basilican church.


1903-1905 Heer (L): church St. Petrus' Banden

Neo-Romanesque three-aisled basilican church. Side-aisles extended along the choir. Choir and side-aisles are closed with semi-round apses.Front with two towers.


1904-1912 Budel (NB): church O.L. Vrouw Visitatie




Large three-aisled neo-Gothic basilica.


1904-1905 Uden (NB): Kruisherenklooster





U-shaped monastery in neo-Gothic style with big chapel. Expansions in 1921 and 1925.


1904-1905 Ooij (G): church St. Hubertus

Three-aisled neo-Gothic pseudobasilica. Tower designed by B. Goddijn and added in 1953-1955.


1904 Ulestraten (L): church H. Catharina

Three-aisled neo-Gothic basilican church.


1905 Aalst (NB): church O.L. Vrouwe Presentatie




Three-aisled neo-Gothic basilica with tower of four segments and a tall spire. Choir enlarged in 1934 by F.(?) Franssen.


1905-1906 Einighausen (L): church O.L. Vrouw ten Hemelopneming



Three-aisled cruciform basilican church in Neo-Romanogothic style. Two towers at the front. Strange proportions, like the short nave and choir. First time Franssen used 'climbing' vaults in the side-aisles. In 1909-1910 in Maarheeze (NB) an almost perfect copy (click here for a picture; opens in new window) of this church was built by an unknown architect, much to the dislike of Franssen.


1905-1906 Hoensbroek (L): church H. Johannes Evangelist



Three-aisled basilican towerless church in neo-Gothic style. The facade was intended to be temporary and could be replaced in case the church should be extended, which never happened.


1906-1907 Born (L): church H. Martinus

Three-aisled basilican church in neo-Gothic style, with a tower of five unequal segments. In the 1950's the choir was replaced by with a transept and a new choir.


1906-1907 Appeltern (G): church St. Servatius

Three-aisled neo-Gothic basilican church.


 1907-1908 Casteren (NB): church St. Willibrordus




Originally one-aisled cruciform neo-Romanesque church. In 1935 very low side-aisles were added by J. Franssen.


1907 Ottersum (L): convent Maria Roepaan

Chapel, sacristy and house. Destroyed in World War Two.


1907 Herpen (NB): nave church St. Sebastianus

New three-aisled nave for a medieval church.


1908 Guttecoven (L): church H. Nicolaas

Three-aisled neo-Gothic church incorporating an older tower and choir. Demolished in 1965.


1909-1910 Wanroij (NB): church St. Cornelius

Three-aisled neo-Gothic cruciform basilica with tall tower.


1909-1910 Horssen (G): church St. Antonius Abt





Three-aisled neo-Gothic basilica with low pseudo-transept.


1909 Neer (L): church H. Martinus

Three-aisled neo-Gothic cruciform basilica, incorporating an older tower which is heightened with one segment. Transept with side-aisles. All side-aisles have climbing vaults.

1909-1910 Mook (L) : restoration and enlargement church St. Antonius Abt

Replacement of the medieval nave by a new, three-aisled one with transept.


1911-1913 Cuijk (NB): church St. Martinus

Three-aisled neo-Gothic cruciform basilica with a two-towers front. The tower of the medieval predecessor stands next to the choir.


1911 Castenray (L): church H. Matthias

Short single-aisled nave in neo-Gothic style, built against an older choir. In 1933-1934 Jos. Franssen adds side-aisles, a children's chapel and a tower, while after World War Two he extends the nave.


1911-1912 Huisseling (NB): church St. Lambertus

One-aisled cruciform church in combined Neo-Gothic and Neo-Romanesque style. 


1912 Ell (L): church H. Antonius Abt

Neo-Romanesque basilica. After World War Two estended by J. Franssen.


1913-1914 Uden (NB): Fransican convent

No further details.


1913-1914 Belfeld (L): church H. Urbanus

Neo-Romanesque basilica. Destroyed in 1944-1945.


1914 Deurne-Zeilberg (NB): church St. Willibrordus

Neo-Gothic cruciform basilica. In 1933 extended by J. Franssen.


1917-1918 Susteren (L): church O.L. Vrouw Onbevlekt Ontvangen and Lazarist monastery





Neo-Romanesque basilican church. Franssen took the Romanesque churches of Ell and Belfeld as examples. The monastery is in neo-Renaissance style.


1920-1922 Groesbeek (G): church St. Cosmas en Damianus



Three-aisled neo-Romanesque church with a Greek cross-shaped ground-plan and an unfinished tower.


1921 Simpelveld (L): church St. Remigius




Three-aisled cruciform basilica in neo-Romanesque style. Built of Kunrader stone. Tower added in 1935, possibly designed by A.H.J. Swinkels.


1923-1924 Hapert (NB): church St. Severius




Neo-Romanesque cruciform basilican church. Portals and chapels added in 1938 by J.C. van Buytenen.

1923-1924 Gulpen (L): church St. Petrus




Neo-Romanesque cruciform basilican church.


1923-1924 Herpt (NB): church St. Catharina




One-aisled cruciform church in Neo-Romanesque style.

1923 Roermond (L): church H. Hart




Cruciform church built in a mixture of styles, including neo-Romanesque. Dome on the crossing-tower in a Baroque-like style. Built in conjunction with J. Franssen.


1925-1926 Reek (NB): church St. Anthonius Abt




Three-aisled basilican church with offset standing tower. Design inspired by early-christian and Romanesque architecture.

1926-1927 Boxtel (NB): chapel convent St. Ursula

Aisleless chapel in simple neo-Romanesque style.
1926-1927 Heerlen (L): church O.L. Vrouwe Verschijning van Lourdes



Three-aisled cruciform basilican church with towers in the corners between choir and transept. Designed in conjunction with J. Franssen.

1927 Heythuysen (L): enlargement church St. Nicolaas



Two large side-aisles transform an older church into a hall-church.


1929-1930 Vlodrop (L): church St. Martinus

Three-aisled basilica in neo-Romanesque style. Badly damaged in 1944 and rebuilt by J. Franssen in 1946-1947.  


1930 Beesel (L): church St. Gertrudis

Three-aisled basilican church, built in a combination of neo-Gothic and Traditionalist styles. Tower destroyed in 1944 and later rebuilt in Traditionalist style.

1930 extension chapel of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit

Addition of a new frontal part in Traditionalist style with tower and transept to P.J.H. Cuypers' neo-Romanesque chapel of 1911. Designed in conjunction with J. Franssen or possibly by the latter alone.
1931-1932 Haanrade (L): church H. Hart

Three-aisled basilican church, built in a combination of neo-Gothic and Traditionalist styles using natural stone for the exterior.
1931-1932 Tegelen (L): church H. Hart

Three-aisled basilican church, built in a combination of neo-Gothic and Traditionalist styles.

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