Mostar is a city and municipality in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was named after the bridge keepers (mostari) who in the medieval times guarded the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva. The Old Bridge, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina's most recognizable landmarks. During the armed conflict between Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats in the Bosnian War in the 1990s, the bridge was destroyed by the HVO (Croatian Defence Council). Since the end of the wider war in 1995, great progress has been made in the reconstruction of the city of Mostar. A monumental project to rebuild the Old Bridge, which was destroyed during the Bosnian War, to the original design, and restore surrounding structures and historic neighbourhoods was initiated in 1999 and mostly completed by Spring 2004.