Kizliar is all vineyards and sabers.
Be sure to open the annotated image above in fullscreen mode for best viewing.
The spectacular fortress complex dominates Kizliar's urban space. It offers an incredible amount of detail, featuring four separate barracks and storehouses for gunpowder, artillery, and salt. If you look closely you will even spot three staircases or gates leading onto the outer walls, some of which overlook the road to Mozdok and Astrakhan.
And then there are the vineyards (18). They are just as astonishing in their prominence, replete with the small curling lines that suggest vines and threaded with straight pathways leading in and across. Most lie outside the town walls (21), but some are tucked inside along the humble little Topolka River. The vineyards west of the Topolka share space with the "Russian and Georgian" - in other words, Orthodox - cemetery, while a Tatar - in other words, Muslim - cemetery is nestled in among the vineyards to the east.
Full as it is of unlabeled space, the Kizliar plan whispers in our ears...
...of the urgent need to keep certain things outside the walls, the desirability of pushing Armenians toward the edges, and of pushing Tatars further still;
...of the satisfaction of positioning the guns of an empire on the bend of a river that flows from unruly highlands to a lucrative coast;
...of the urge to impose one's will... and wash the day down with a sip of wine.