Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Tralee
TraleeTralee (Traigh Li, "Beach of the River Lee"), the lively county town of Kerry county, lies in the southwest of Ireland, 2mi/3km above the outflow of the River Lee into Tralee Bay.Tralee once had a harbor, linked with the sea by a canal. It is now mainly a market town and tourist center, and also the gateway to the Dingle Peninsula with its many remains of the past. The famous Ring of Kerry is within easy reach.Since Tralee was set on fire by its garrison in 1643 and again in 1691 before its surrender to the enemy, no older buildings have survived.St John's Church, a 19th century neo-Gothic building by the Dublin architect McCarthy, has fine stained glass by Michael Healy in the sacristy. In Tralee one can also see a number of Georgian houses.
In Tralee one can see a number of Georgian houses in the center of the town, and just north of the church in Ashe Street, the 19th C. Court House with an Ionic portico.
Kerry the Kingdom
Under the general title of "Kerry the Kingdom," three attractions are housed in the Ashe Memorial Hall in Tralee. "Kerry in Color" is a slide show, introducing the visitor to the scenic beauties of the region. "Treasures of the Kingdom " identifies the museum; here notable archaeological finds and objets d'art are displayed, and the history of the county from the Stone Age to the present is brought to life by means of imaginative scenes. Named after the Desmond Geraldines, one of the Norman families who ruled over Tralee and its surroundings, "Geraldine Tralee" takes the visitor in 11 "time vehicles" through the medieval Tralee of 1450, along streets and across squares which have been reproduced with their noises and smells as they once were.
Address: Ashe Memorial Hall, Denny Street, Ireland
Kerry County Museum
Kerry County Museum brings to life the story of Kerry from the earliest times to the present day. The Geraldine Experience takes visitors back 600 years where they will see, hear and smell medieval Tralee.
Address: Ashe Memorial Hall, Denny Street, Ireland
Close to the Ashe Memorial Hall in Tralee the new theater building of the Siamsa Tire was opened in 1991. The architectural style of the building was taken from the Irish stone forts, especially Staigue Fort. Behind the name Siamsa Tire lies a national peoples theater which has pledged itself to promote Celtic culture. The programs include music, dance and drama.
Address: Town Park, Ireland
Blennerville Windmill and Craft Center (Steam Railway)
A narrow-guage railroad, which operated between 1891 and 1953 between Tralee and Dingle, has since 1993 run hourly from April to September from Tralee to the Blennerville windmill, 2mi/3km away. The restored windmill, which can also be reached by car on the road to Dingle (R559), was built at the end of the 18th C. and was in operation until the end of the 19th C. It was restored in the 1980s and the visitor can now see how the huge millstones ground wheat into flour. A multimedia show relates the history of the windmill and its restoration. An exhibition is also devoted to the mass emigration in the last century. In the 18th and 19th centuries Biennerville Quay was an important port for Irish emigrants.
This Georgian period house has been fully restored and allows visitors to travel back to the early 1800s in Tralee. See how the middle class family of Sir Robert Day lived.
5mi/8km northwest of Tralee on the R551 lies Ardfert, around which are important medieval remains. St Brendan (483-578), born in neighboring Fenit, founded a monastery here, to which a group of churches (National Monuments) in the churchyard belonged - the fortress-like St Brendan's Cathedral, with a beautiful 12th C. west doorway and blind arcading and a 13th C. nave and choir (fine lancet windows); to the northwest the little Romanesque Church of Temple na Hoe with columns at its outer corners; and the 15th C. Church of Temple na Griffin.
A short distance east of Ardfert are the ruins of a Franciscan friary (13th-15th C.: National Monument). The church has cylindrical columns and a beautiful south window. Two sides of the 15th C. cloister, originally roofed with stone slabs, have survived.
North of the Franciscan frairy near Tralee on the R551 lies Ballyheige, a quiet seaside resort with a good sandy beach. On beautiful Kerry Head, sticking out into the Atlantic to the west of the village, hexagonal quartz crystals from the Kerry mountains can be found. Near Ballyheige is Banna Beach, where Roger Casement was landed from a German submarine in 1916 to take part in the Easter Rising. Shortly afterwards he was captured and later executed.
About 12mi/20km east of Tralee near the N25 lies Crag Cave, an impressive dripstone cave. The first systematic exploration of the cave was in 1981, when it was discovered that this was one of the largest cave systems in Ireland with tunnels almost 2.5mi/4km long. Safe pathways were laid and lighting installed. Crag Cave was opened to the public in 1989.
Ballyard - Tralee and Dingle Steam Railway
Tralee and Dingle Steam Railway is part of the famous Tralee & Dingle Light Railway (1891-1953). It has a folklore and tradition that dates back over 100 years ago.
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