Before the emergence of modern Arcadia, a small river flowed in this place. The river bed was in the Arcadian gully, where it flowed into the sea. At the beginning of the 18th century, there was a Wittgenstein farm. In 1818 this farm was bought by the future Decembrist, a friend of Pushkin, Sergei Volkonsky. On the plateaus and slopes adjacent to the gully, surnames known in Russia at that time began to equip their estates: Sturdza-Edling, Dunina, Marazli, Rodokonaki, Mavrokordato, Papudova. At the end of the 19th century, a large piece of land between Maly Fontan and Arkadiyskiy Balka (the territory of modern Arcadia) belonged to Princess Gagarina, as well as to her three sons. The surname of the Gagarins still exists in Odessa toponomy – the plateau above the Arkadiysky gully is called the Gagarin plateau.
It was thanks to the settlement of this area by the then elite that the new settlement received an “idyllic” name – Arcadia, in honor of the Greek historical region of Arcadia, which was considered a place of continuous happiness, tranquility and peace.
The development of Arcadia as a resort began in 1893 thanks to the activities of the Belgian entrepreneur Emile Combyu. Combue was the owner of the railroad tracks and the founder of the joint stock tram company in Odessa. It was he who noticed the favorable location of Arcadia. Unlike other localities in Odessa, Arcadia is located in a gully, so you can get to the beach bypassing the seaside slopes. Already at the end of the 19th century, a horse tram was launched to Arcadia, which went by French Boulevard, bypassing the Gagarin plateau, and got to the beach itself. Subsequently, the city’s first electric tram was launched along this route. On the coast of Arcadia, Combe set up an electric tram station and a restaurant. In 1930, a section of the gully adjacent to the beach was given over to a park, and the tram tracks were removed. Thus, the tram made a circle at the entrance to the park.
At the same time, a new road was built to Arcadia. In addition to the Staroarkadievskaya road, which led from Lanzheron to Arcadia along the sea, Novoarkadievskaya was developed. In 1985, in the middle of the latter (by that time it was already called Shevchenko Street), a square with the Wings of Victory monument was founded, and the section from the square to the central entrance to the park was renamed Genuezskaya Street.
Since the beginning of the 2010s, the Arcadia region has experienced a real construction boom. And if the first skyscrapers gave Arcadia the look of European coastal cities, then by 2020 it already resembles the stone jungle of Chinese megacities.
Photo of Arcadia