Château de Chêne
|Château de Chêne|
|Address||D. Francisca, N. 1|
|Town or city||Blauerhimmel|
|Current tenants||Prince Antonio of Marienbourg|
|Owner||Marienbourgish Grand Ducal Family|
|Affiliation||House of Bruyn|
|Height||c. 5 meters|
The Château de Chêne (Portuguese: Castelo dos Carvalho) is the official residence and administrative headquarters of the Duke of Marienbourg. It stands in Marienbourg's capital, Blauerhimmel, on a c. 200 meters estate at 1 D. Francisca Way. The building consists of a neoclassical castelete double house with 17 rooms and 2 outlying gardens. Despite its status, the castle de facto serves as the residence of part of the Grand Ducal Family, but not the Duke Arthur van der Bruyn, who as King of Ebenthal in personal union lives at Bubbington Palace in Malmünd.
According to its documents, the Château was built in 1942 and acquired by the Carvalho family in 1992. While the Monarch does not live in the castle, it functions as the seat of the Crown Representative's Secretariat, which exercises the administrative functions of the Head of State with regard to the estate and reporting on local government functioning. Nominally, the castle is the official reception site for foreign heads of state, both incoming and outgoing ambassadors to Mareibnourg, and Marienbourgish crown ministers for audiences with the Sovereign.
The name in French, Château de Chêne, which literally translates to "Oak Castle" was adopted in reference to the ruling family in Marienbourg, the House of Carvalho -Bruyn, whereas the Portuguese Carvalho is the family name and literally translates to "oak", after the oak tree. The choice of the name in French, however, reflects the inspiration of Marienbourg in Luxembourg, a European country in which French is one of the official languages and is the language of the court.
According to the deed and property purchase documents, the Château was built between 1941 and 1942 by Mollahem Constructor Company for an upper-middle-class family from Varginha. Originally the building had only one floor, but with the growth of the resident family at the time and the need for space, it was decided to expand the building. However, trying not to clash with the façade of the residence by building a floor above the first, the family opted to lower the land level and build a floor below, along with a garage.
In the 1980s the owner of the Château was fined by the city hall of the Brazilian municipality of Poços de Caldas for irregular expansion of the property, and the residents were obliged to bear the costs of a meticulous renovation in order to to guarantee the safety of local properties and soil and to regularize their situation with the authorities. The renovation costs, however, led the family to a dire financial situation, in which they could no longer afford either the form or their debts, forcing them to sell the property. In 1992 António Carvalho, then already residing in the city, where he and his brother had established a farm, bought the property for an amount equivalent to 400.000 Brazilian Reais (2023).
On 26 December 2022, however, by treaty, António and his brother Edson ceded nominal sovereignty of their properties in Poços de Caldas to their great-nephew Arthur van der Bruyn, while retaining private ownership of their properties. This same treaty, sanctioned by both parties, formally established the Duchy of Marienbourg independent of Brazil, and the Château, which received its name on 2 January 2023, was incorporated into the new municipality of Blauerhimmel, as the official administrative seat of the government of the new country.