About Baniyas

Baniyas 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 presently 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