SLAVYANSK, a town of Russia, in the government of Kharkov, 158 m. by rail S.E. of the town of Kharkov, on the Torets river and close by several salt lakes, from which salt is extracted. Pop. (1897) 15,644. There are soap, candle and tallow-works. Slavyansk carries on a brisk trade in salt, cattle and tallow. The ancient name of Slavyansk was Tor. The town, which is supposed to occupy the site of a former settlement of the Torks (Turks), who inhabited the steppes of the Don, was founded in 1676 by the Russians to protect the salt marshes. Having an open steppe behind it, this fort was often destroyed by the Tatars. Its salt trade became insignificant in the 18th century and only revived towards the end of the 19th century.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)