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Ubach over Worms (L): H. Jozef (F. van Schoubrouck, 1868-1877)


Francois van Schoubrouck was the first student of the famous architect P.J.H. Cuypers. He was born in 1832 in Berchem near Antwerpen, Belgium, and began his study at the Royal Academy in Antwerpen in 1847/1848, the year when Cuypers graduated at the same academy. In 1851 Cuypers invited him to move to Roermond. Until 1859 Van Schoubrouck lived in the Cuypers' house and was his assistant. In 1861 he left the Cuypers' firm when Cuypers ordered a ban on smoking in his workplaces, which caused a conflict with part of his employees, one of them Van Schoubrouck. From that moment on the two architects were rivals, and Van Schoubrouck sided against his former tutor in the matter of the restoration of Roermond's Munsterkerk as well. In his short life, Van Schoubrouck had little succes as an independent architect, and only built one church. In 1864 or 1865 he managed to get commissioned for the design of a new church for Ubach over Worms. His church is a three-aisled cruciform church in neo-Gothic style. It shows many similarities to Cuypers' early churches and is inspired by early French Gothic. Work started in 1869. Van Schoubrouck died unexpectedly in 1870, either as the result of an accident or of a disease, and no other architect was appointed to replaced him. However, the church was built by J. van Groenendael, a builder with architectural aspirations, so possibly the replacement came naturally.
At the time of the architect's death, the church was only partly completed. It took another seven years before it was finally completed, with many changes to Van Schoubrouck's design. The tower was shortened with 10 metres, which explains its peculiar upper segment. The nave is an odd four and a half trave long. Unusually, the sacristy lies behind the choir and is connected with it by a corridor.










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