Work for the installation of the structure of the Main Events has begun. The stages at Campus Fidei in Guaratiba and in Copacabana are in the initial phase with the construction of the base and were designed so that Pope Francis will always be at the highest point, guaranteeing adequate visibility for the participants.
On the central stage of Copacabana, the Opening Mass, the Papal Welcoming Ceremony, and the Stations of the Cross will be celebrated. In addition, the edge of the beach with have an additional 13 stages, each one measuring 100 square meters, where the Mysteries of the Passion of Christ will be acted out on Friday, 26 July.
The design for the stages for the events Copacabana comes from the artistic director of World Youth Day, Abel Gomes. He says that the inspiration came from the irregular contour of the mountains in Rio de Janeiro. “I would say that the (central) altar is a large sculpture of 4,000 square meters”, he says.
There will be four circular platforms of different heights, joined by one beautiful staircase. In the middle, there will be an accessible ramp that will allow for the entrance of the Popemobile. In the back, there will be a long screen 15m high and 61m wide. The stage – 70m wide, 60m deep, and 30m high, which will have a capacity for one thousand people.
The central stage at Campus Fidei, where the Pope will preside the Vigil and the Final Mass, is 3,000 square meters. The architect, João Uchôa, explains that the design was inspired by Gothic Cathedrals. According to him, the cathedrals were constructed at the end of the Middle Ages, and it marked a new time in the Church.
“The cathedrals have beautiful pieces. Since World Youth Day is a youth movement, we thought it would be a good image to express that. It is a plastic and symbolic element”, he explained.
The structure has a large iron cross coated in gold measuring 33 meters in height, which is in reference to the age of Christ when he died. The two 14-meter front towers form the image of two hands clasped in prayer. Behind the structure, 360 white towers were arranged in the form of a cyclorama which brings to mind an image of a large organ, similar to those that were played in the old churches.
Below the stage, which has a 750-person capacity, will be located the sacristies of the Pope and the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Dom Orani João Tempesta, and the artists’ dressing rooms and invited authorities.
The structures will be finished in the first half of July.