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Long fought over by warring empires, the city of Yerevan survived centuries of foreign occupation, finally becoming independent with the fall of the Soviet Union. This capital city, a center of Armenian culture, has celebrated its freedom with a flurry of construction and a growing population. Despite this push forward, history survives in Yerevan - The Institute of Ancient Manuscripts houses books dating back to the 9th century, and the ruins of the Erebuni Fortress, built in 782 BC, still stand.