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For the place in the Golan Heights (Caesarea Philippi), see Banias.
Baniyas is located in Syria
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 35°10′56″N 35°56′25″E / 35.18222°N 35.94028°E / 35.18222; 35.94028
Country  Syria
Governorate Tartus Governorate
District Baniyas District
Population (2008 est.)
 • Total 42,128
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) +3 (UTC)
Area code(s) 43

Baniyas (Arabic: بانياسBāniyās) is a city in Tartous Governorate, northwestern Syria, located at the foot of the hill of Qalaat el-Marqab (housing the Crusade castle of Marqab, Margat in western sources), 55 km to the south of Latakia (ancient Laodicea) and 35 km north of Tartous (ancient Tortosa), and a Catholic titular see under the Latin name of Balanea, which is now vacant.

It is famous for its orchards and its export of wood. Today it is best known for its oil refinery north of the city, one of the largest in Syria; a power station is also present.

It still contains citrus fruit orchards surrounded by green hills. One of the hills has at its top the imposing Margat Citadel, a huge Knights Hospitaller fortress built with black basalt stone.


In Phoenician times, it was an important seaport, known to the Greeks as Balemia. Perhaps in Hellenistic times the city borrowed the name Leucas (according to Stephanus Byzantius) from the island in western Greece. The city of Balanaea, its Latin name, was a colony of Aradus (Strabo, XVI, 753), and was placed by Stephanus Byzantius in Phoenicia, though it belonged rather to the former Roman province of Syria. Its first known bishop was present at the Council of Nicaea in 325 (Lequien, Oriens Christ., II, 923).

During the Syrian civil war rebel sources reported that a massacre took place on 2 May 2013, perpetrated by government forces.[1]


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainVailhé, Siméon (1907). "Balanaea". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia 2. Robert Appleton Company. 

  1. ^ "Syrians flee 'massacres' in Baniyas and al-Bayda," BBC (4 May 2013). Retrieved 6 May 2013.[not in citation given]

Further Reading[edit]

Wikisource-logo.svg Vailhé, Siméon (1907). "Balanaea". Catholic Encyclopedia 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°10′56″N 35°56′25″E / 35.18222°N 35.94028°E / 35.18222; 35.94028