12 Facts About Banias


Spring at Banias initially originated in a large cave carved out of a sheer cliff face which was gradually lined with a series of shrines.

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Banias was certainly an ancient place of great sanctity, and when Hellenised religious influences began to overlay the region, the cult of its local numen gave place to the worship of Pan, to whom the cave was therefore dedicated.

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In that year, Banias became the principal centre of Humphrey II of Toron's fiefdom, along with his being the constable of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, after it had first been granted to the Knights Hospitaller by Baldwin III.

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In 1179, Saladin took personal control of the forces of Banias and created a protective screen across the Hula through Tell al-Qadi.

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In 1187, Saladin's son al-Afdal was able to send a force of 7, 000 horsemen from Banias, that participated in the Battle of Cresson and the Battle of Hattin.

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Banias took control of other properties - Tibnin, Hunin, Beaufort and Tyron.

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Banias later tried to retake the land, at the time of An-Nasir Yusuf, but was imprisoned.

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In 1252 Banias was attacked by the forces of the Seventh Crusade and took it, but they were driven by the garrison of Subeiba.

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Al-Sa'id Hasan of Banias, released by Hulegu during the Mongol invasion of Syria, allied with him, and took part in the Battle of Ain Jalut.

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Banias was included in the Jordan Valley Unified Water Plan, which allocated Syria 20 million cubic metres annually from it.

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The diversion plan for the Banias called for a 73 kilometre long canal to be dug 350 metres above sea level, that would link the Banias with the Yarmuk.

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In 1977, the Banias was declared a nature reserve by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, named Hermon Stream Nature Reserve.

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