At the east of the Marshes, the motorway and the railroad ascend past the village of Šmarje-Sap and descend into the Grosuplje basin. Among the undulating green hills to the east lie smaller three basins; the Višnja gora basin, the Stična basin, and the Šentvid basin. The soil is very fertile and the area is densely populated. Local centers have developed at the crossroads. Small basins are shut off by the low Zasavje hills in the north and by the karst plateaus in the south.
The center of this part of Central Slovenia is Grosuplje with roads leading to Novo Mesto, the Krka valley, Velike Lašče, and to the Zasavje. The railroad splits; one fork leads to Novo Mesto and the other to Kočevje. To the north of Grosuplje is Magdalenska gora ( 504 m ) where you can still see ruins of defense walls and archaeologists unearthed Illyrian and Celtic burial grounds.
Numerous valley streams join into the Dobravka River which disappears underground on the Radensko Plain near the ruins of Boštanj Castle. The castle was built on a solitary hill and burnt to ashes during WW II. The Radensko Plain is a veritable miniature karst polje with swallow wholes. It is the water hinterland of the Krka river.
On the karst plateau under Jelovec ( 666 m ), near the village of Velika Lipljena lies the Mayor’s cave ( Županova Jama ) which is opened to tourists. The road past the cave comes from Ponova vas near Grosuplje and leads on to Turjak. A kilometer before the Tabor cave ( Taborska Jama ), atop the hill, sits Tabor, the best-preserved defense camp from the period of Turkish invasions and a Gothic church fortified by strong walls and defense towers.
Višnja Gora grew under a huge castle of which only the tower still stands today. The castle has been a ruin since the 17th century. The original settlement was the Old Market ( Stari trg ).
During the Turkish invasions the new part, fortified with walls, was built on a promontory above the basin and Visnja Gora received a town charter. Today, Višnja Gora is just a village.
The local center of the third basin is Ivančna Gorica. Over the last years, the settlement has been gradually getting a more town-like look.
In 1136 the Cistercians came to the Stična basin. They founded a monastery and the village of Stična grew around it. The Cistercians still live in the monastery. Prehistoric finds unearthed near Šentvid pri Stični testify to the early settlement of the village.
A road from Ivančna Gorica through the Višnjica valley leads to the Krka Valley. By the road lies Muljava where Josip Jurčič, the author of the first Slovene novel, was born. The church in Muljava is interesting because of the frescoes dating from 1456. The ruins of two castles on the hills west of the valley are only a few hundred meters apart.
The Upper Krka Valley is one of the loveliest river valleys in Slovenia. Its wooded slopes rise gently and despite the road running along the river, its shores haven’t been settled. The finishing touch to the idyllic setting is added by the green color of the clear Krka, which springs from an underground cave under Rogljevka ( 474 m ), near the village of Gradiček.
The Tabor camp, the 15th-century fortification against Turkish invasions, is the most famous sight in the Grosuplje area. Its strong walls make it inaccessible for visitors. In the Mayor’s cave, near Tabor, there are over 800 stairs.
Višnja gora was once a town, today is a village. The medieval Cistercian Abbey in Sticčna was first mentioned in 1136.