Tralee sits in the shelter of Tralee Bay, with a panorama of sea and mountains stretching into the west. Lying in the heart of Kerry, the coast, lakes and mountains of the Kingdom are all within arm's reach. The town is the capital of the county, the hub of its affairs. Founded by the Normans in 1216, the town has known many rebellions. Today it is more famous for the annual Rose of Tralee festival. This is an international competition which is celebrated among Irish communities all over the world. The festival, held annually in August since 1959, takes its inspiration from a nineteenth-century ballad of the same name about a woman called Mary, who because of her beauty was called The Rose of Tralee. The contest, which is broadcast over two nights by RTÉ is one of the highest viewed shows on Irish television with over a million people watching.
One of Tralee's main attractions is Kerry County Museum This Museum comprises three unique attractions combining audio visual technology with life-size reconstructions and priceless archaeological treasures to trace man's history n Kerry from 5,000 BC to the present day. Among the centre's highlights is a time car ride through the reconstructed streets and house of medieval Tralee. As you travel through the streets you will experience the sights, sounds and smells of the town on market day and witness the daily life of the townspeople. Also based in Tralee is Siamsa Tire folklore theatre. Founded in 1974, Siamsa Tire is the showcase of our Celtic future through music, dance, storytelling and mime. Siamsa Tire is renowned for its exciting performances and has presented this important aspect of Irish cultural life all over the world