The double-headed eagle is a heraldic symbol of the Greek Orthodox Church. It is an ancient motif, used perhaps for the first time by the Hittites in modern day Turkey. It reemerged in the Byzantine Empire and was widely used by the 11th and 12th centuries AD.
The meaning of the two heads with one body is debated. Some suggest it presents the unity of church and state, a principle that guided the Byzantines. Others suggest it represents the dominion of the empire in the East and in the West.
In countries where Orthodoxy has a powerful presence it continue to be used today.
I found this one perched on a rope-stand in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestine.
Pilgrims await their turn (sortof) to enter the grotto at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Tradition suggests that this is place where Jesus was born.
If you are interested in experiencing Bethlehem and a host of other sites for yourself, consider joining us next year. We have open seats for several trips in 2020 and 2021. We are booking new groups for 2022. Shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or see our full list of study-travel opportunities at the link here.