Calanderas is a beautiful city of hills, a tight cluster of hills. It has a long and complicated history, all which can be seen in the city streets. Yet it is not for the buildings that it is beautiful.
The tallest hill, called "The High Point", has an Old Imperial Fort. Being the highest point for a days travel, it has a commanding view of the outlying terrain (the scattered trees and the vast farm and fields) and the two great roads. The stones were quarried from quite a ways away and brought here by Imperial soldiers, over their 90 year rule. The stone temple like structure and its courtyards are surrounded by stout low walls. While much of it is in disrepair, it is still magnificent in its size and column design. The parts that are not in disrepair are being used by the current territorial governor and The Fifth Flag (military unit) which is assigned there.
The Old City is bounded by the Old Trench Wall and the second ring hills. The old trench wall, nor the original trench with sharp sticks is there. The only betraying clue is the dip and off colored ground that runs the rough circumference of the old city. The Old Imperial Laws prevented the village from being close to the fort, so it grew up on the low hills. The village developed into a town over the time of occupation. The buildings here are traditional Low Imperial with a small scattering of High Imperial. So most of the buildings are one to two stories, squarish, wedged tightly together, with one to three families living in the various apartments. The streets were designed to be so narrow that only a single man, not a horse warrior, would be able to pass. That way the village served as a defensive wall in its own right. The few High Imperial buildings are the traditional bath homes, as well as a small circle theater and a tiny race track.
In the times of transition, the grip of Imperial law was weakened while the Orcen tribes and rebel Imperials ran rampant. The new city needed to be inside the actual walls constructed at the trench. The outlying colonists pulled in towards the fort and built homes and businesses here on the hills between the Old City and the Fort. The roads are a bit wider, but they are steep and constantly switching back and forth along the hillsides. The alleys are frequently stairs, shortcuts between the streets. The houses are much the same as the old city, but taller, narrower and with more windows (since a glass smith must have arrived around that time).
As times have changed and the barbaric has become the civilized, the outer city, the colonist city, has sprung forth. In actuality, the Outer City has officially expanded several times, each time in an approximate ring. As the property inside the city wall increased in value, those who were poor or new to the city found themselves living/ working outside the walls. (The stock and tallow yards have always been outside the walls). As these new "colonists" developed outside, new walls were built to protect them. The streets were wider than in another part of the city and the occasional home with a garden atrium was built. The roads and alleys travel at odd angles and do not always link up with other streets outside the its ring. There are a few odd segments of wall standing, as the old wall is mostly cannibalized to make the new wall, and a few parts are left behind for various reasons. The current breed of colonists (as opposed to OldCityfolk) are currently building a new wall to surround the growth from the last fifty years.
It might be noted that people seldom paint their outside walls. They use a white rough plaster. The city should be tired and boring, but it is not. Calanderas is one of the most beautiful cities in the world not for its architecture, but for its wild life. The city is a wild riot of color for most of the year, as greens and colorful wildflowers cascade down the roofs, gutters, and walls. The local vines Treller Vine harbor other plants that are seldom seen on The Marches. Most walls are half shaded by vine walls of Treller Vines and flowers, growing from the top down, rather than ground up like in other places. Many roofs have become gardens due to the vines and the flowers. The scent of the city is similar to a high garden or tropical jungle. While it causes many newcomers to have watery eyes and sneeze, it is a source of pride for the Colonists and the Cityfolk.