Şanlıurfa was founded on the land called "the fertile crescent" in archaeological literature and where civilization originated and expanded to the world.
In recent years, scientific excavations carried out at some archaeological sites like Nevala Chori, Sahshkan Hoyuk (tumulus), and Göbekli Tepe (mound) within boundaries of the province has verified that the earliest architectural works in Anatolia were built in Şanlıurfa region 11.500 years ago (Neolithic Age-9500-5500 B.C.).
The historic city, where various rich cultures lived together, affected each other, and 'an Urfa culture' has been blended, is known today as a 'museum city', for it gives the impression of an open air museum with its palatial historical houses, streets, hans (inn) and caravanserais, Turkish baths, mosques, fountains, bridges, covered bazaars (arcades) and traditional handicrafts.
Şanlıurfa is also called "The Prophets' City". Prophet Abraham, who is known well by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, was born in the city. The cave in which he was born, the hill from where he was thrown down into the fire, and Lake Aynzeliha and Lake Halil-ürrahman which are believed to be the spot where Abraham fell when he was castled into the fire, are visited by believers of the three religions.
The cave where Prophet Job stayed during his illness for a long time, takes place in Eyyub Peygamber (Prophet Job) district in Şanlıurfa. The tombs of Prophet Job, his wife Rahime Hatun and Prophet Elija are in the village of Eyyub Nebi near Viranşehir (an administrative subdivision of Şanlıurfa Province).
Jesus sent a letter to Abgar Ukkama, the king of Urfa, blessing the city and a handkerchief which, after he wiped his face with it, carried his image miraculously (Hagion Mandilion). For that reason, Urfa is called "the Blessed City" by Christians.
Şanlıurfa, with its historic architectural works and such historic sites as Harran, the City of Prophet Jethro, and Soğmatar which are famous worldwide, has important features concerning the history of religions and belief tourism and draws attention of those when enjoy historical and archaeological tourism.
Urfa has made great contributions to the world culture and civilization, and from now on, as the agricultural and industrial center of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), is going to spread the blessed abundance of Prophet Abraham all over the world with products from the plains irrigated with the Atatürk Dam's water.