This wood-burning from Romania (a gift from my Aunt Linda, who is keeping the provenance a secret) shows historical figure Vlad Dracula and Transylvania’s Castle Bran. The design is popular in the Romanian tourist trade; my Romanian colleague Adriana Cordali found a refrigerator magnet almost exactly like it during her last visit to her home country. Located just a few miles southwest of Brasov, the remarkably well-preserved fourteenth-century Castle Bran has come to be associated with Dracula in popular imagination over the last fifty years, though most historians agree that Prince Vlad never visited. The fifteenth-century Wallachian ruler’s own association with the literary figure is equally tenuous; a review of Bram Stoker’s notes indicates that the author drew the name “Dracula” from a brief mention in William Wilkinson’s An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia (London: Longmans, 1820), pp. 18-19.
Thanks to Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller’s Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula (Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland & Co., 2008), pp. 244-245 for the reference.