Forest park “Lipnik", or as we the locals call it – Teketo (a sacred place around a monastery or at the place where there was a monastery), is located in Northeastern Bulgaria, near the village of Nikolovo and a few kilometers from the town of Ruse. It is part of the forest of lime trees with impressive area of about 20,000 decares, and hence the name of the locality. It is considered to be one of the largest lime forests on the territory of Bulgaria.
Building and shaping the surrounding area as a park began around the 1950s, and since then the flow of people looking for peace and tranquility here doesn’t stop. The forest is an excellent tourist destination, a place to relax and entertain everyone who loves nature.
In ancient times, near the former alian tekke, there was an old Bulgarian monastery – “St. Elijah”. After its destruction, а healing spring appears (locality around a holy spring). According to the legends, it was destructed by the Ottoman conquerors and the Tekke was built on this place, which was later demolished by the Turks during the wars with Russia in the first decades of 19th century. Later, next to the spring was created sculpture representing Diana, the Roman goddess of hunting, called by the locals “the white girl".
Today the waters of the mineral spring fill a small basin in which the visitors, and mostly those in love symbolically throw coins and wish for health and love.
SIGHTS AND ATTRACTIONS
There is a special charm and romantic beauty created by the artificial lake, which was turned into a kingdom of water lilies. Several walking alleys were made – one of them leads to a small zoo, the other to a playground, equipped with play facilities, and the third alley leads to the legendary springs with healing potable water. All alleys in the park offer routes for bicycle tourism or roller skating.
The lake is the favorite place for fishing and provides an opportunity for sail with a tourist boat. Apart from the opportunity to observe the training of rowers, national and international rafting and water motor sport competitions are often organized here.
Teketo is a wonderful place to relax at any time of the year. It attracts many visitors, both from Bulgaria and tourists from abroad, during all seasons. The winter change in the appearance of the recreational forest creates favorable conditions for rest and walk in the enchantingly snowy forest. A number of competitions, games and cultural events, as well as various sporting events, seminars and conferences on various occasions are organized and conducted here.
Several restaurants work on the territory of the park throughout the year.
Every year on St. Elija’s Day, in honor of St. Elijah, the traditional feast of the village of Nikolovo, known in the past as the fair on the Teketo, takes place on 2 August.