The Old Bridge stood for 427 years, until it was destroyed on 9 November 1993 during the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After its destruction a temporary cable bridge was erected in its place.
Responsibility for the destruction of the bridge is attributed to Croat artillery fire. Starting on 8 November 1993 the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) attack the bridge with tank fire.
Sarajevo-based newspapers reported that more than 60 shells hit the bridge before it collapsed. After the destruction of the Stari Most, a spokesman for the Croats admitted that they deliberately destroyed it, claiming that it was of strategic importance.
Academics have argued that the bridge held little strategic value and that its shelling was an example of deliberate cultural property destruction
After the end of the war, plans were raised to reconstruct the bridge.
The World Bank, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the World Monuments Fund formed a coalition to oversee the reconstruction of the Stari Most and the historic city centre of Mostar.
Additional funding was provided by Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Croatia and the Council of Europe Development Bank, as well as the Bosnian government.
In October 1998, UNESCO established an international committee of experts to oversee the design and reconstruction work.The bridge was re-built with local materials by Er-Bu Construction Corp a Turkish company, using Ottoman construction techniques.
Tenelia stone from local quarries was used and Hungarian army divers recovered stones from the original bridge from the river below. Reconstruction commenced on 7 June 2001. The reconstructed bridge was inaugurated on 23 July 2004.