The village of Barbara consists of two parts: the Castle, i.e. the 13th-century fortified centre surrounded by a fortified perimeter and bounded to the south by Porta Roma and to the north by Porta dell'Arco di Santa Barbara; and the Borgo, i.e. the medieval settlement that extends over a slope from Porta dell'Arco di Santa Barbara towards the neoclassical Church of L’Assunta.
The Castle was restructured in the 15th century. It is surrounded by a scarp wall with four corner fortifications and culminates in an imposing raised keep, currently known as ‘Il Torrione’.
The two small towers on the north side over Via Castelfidardo are substantially intact, and still have the artillerymen’s emplacement, the battlements and the gun ports for culverins or arquebuses. The tall tower on the right of Porta Roma was rebuilt in the 1960s, replacing a previous 15th-century tower that had been destroyed by bombing during the Second World War.The basement of a fourth tower-house is visible between Porta dell’Arco di Santa Barbara and Via delle Mura.
Built in 1787 at the behest of Cardinal Giovanni Francesco Albani according to a design by architect Francesco Ciaraffoni, the church hosts valuable art treasures, including a copy of Correggio‘s Nativity attributed to Domenichino, a Saint Sebastian by Paolo Gismondi, the Assumption by Giovanni Pirri, a Madonna and Saints by Pomarancio and Christ at the Column by Francesco Trevisani.
The halls under the parish museum host a valuable wooden statue of St Barbara, attributable to the last decades of the 15th century. The work may have been commissioned by Silvestro di Giovanni as a votive offering following the siege of the castle in 1460-1461 by the artillery of Sigismondo Malatesta, lord of Rimini.
The Living Nativity has been held in the historic village of Barbara for fifty years. Right after the sunset, more than 100 characters give life to the Nativity scene. The re-enactment is divided into two parts: the first part tells the story of Christianity, while in the second part the public can visit the crib, appreciating the reconstructions of the ancient crafts and the charm of the caves set up for the occasion. Visitors are immersed in an atmosphere of deep religiousness to experience the most authentic feeling of the Christmas festivities.