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A French Alphabet

P is for Paris

by Kayla Parikka

A French Alphabet

P is for Paris

by Kayla Parikka


         The Arc de Triomphe has an important history to France. It was first ordered by France’s emperor Napoleon in 1806. Napoleon had wanted to show the French army and his power with a large structure and spent $9.3 million on the Arc de Triomphe! That was a lot of money back then. After Napoleon's death in 1821, this huge construction was complete and engraved with names of generals who fought in the Napoleonic War to show gratitude in 1836. 

       Today, the Arc de Triomphe is still honored by France. One way the government did so was giving the structure the Eternal Flame. This everlasting flame is never put out and has an unknown soldier buried under it that had fought in war for France. Many tourists come to visit the Arc de Triomphe and can walk to the top to overlook the streets and buildings of France, 162 feet high. They can also see the eternal flame and the magnificent, vibrant flowers surrounding it. This amazing structure resembles power and freedom to all of France.

A is for Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe

Stands proud and tall,

The center of attention

Shows freedom to all


            The Baguette is a crispy french bread that is long and thin. Like a regular piece of bread, it is shaped out of dough and cooked in an oven but stretched out in an oval shape. It comes out with a crunchy crust and soft center. Because the Baguette is 26-39 inches long, it is easy to be recognized  The word Baguette also means “wand” or “stick." 

            Even though the Baguette has an unknown past, France still loves it! Believe it or not, but nobody knows who the first person was to create the Baguette and was not referred to as a Baguette until 1920, but as a Kaiser Roll. Enjoyed by all of France, the French bread is eaten 320 times per second which ends up as 10 billion a year! Today, people in France celebrate March 21st is national bread day.

B is for Baguette

The French Baguette

a long piece of dough,

is baked and packaged

then taken to go


The Croissant is a flaky, buttery pastry named after its crescent shape and is famous all around the world. It had originally come from a similar pastry called Kipferl in Austria a long time ago. Then it was changed/ transported to France. Once there, many bakeries started producing the pastry and selling it all over the world. Some bakeries even started adding delicious flavors to the Croissant such as chocolate, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nuts, jam, ice cream, fruits or really, anything you want! Some people even add eggnog.  Still today in France, thousands of this buttery pastries are eaten and represent the delicious french baking. 

C is for Croissant

Croissants are baked

in a crescent from,

they come out soft, 

buttery and warm


America is not the only place with Disney, France has one too- and it’s HUGE! The huge world of wonder covers 4,800 acres of land, containing 2 theme parks. In 1992, seven hotels were built consisting of 5,800 hotel rooms. Over 14.2 million people visit Disneyland Paris and many of its enjoyable parks.

Disneyland Park has many different theme parks that range in activities. Some of  the theme parks are the Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney Village Asterix park, and the original Disneyland Park. They each have their own purpose of entertaining. This includes behind-the-scenes of some of the most famous Disney movies, rides, dining, shopping and more! Disneyland Paris is definitely a great family vacation. 

D is for Disneyland Paris

With many sights

And rides to explore,

There are 2 theme parks

With fun galore


This amazing, 1,063 foot tall building made of wrought iron was named after the designer, Gustave Eiffel. Containing 3 floors, the huge structure has 669 steps to reach the top floor where tourists can view the beautiful city of Paris below. Even though you can’t feel it, with a harsh breeze, the Eiffel Towers antena and top floor can sway a couple of centimeters back and forth.

The Eiffel Tower had a long drafted design. The Eiffel Tower was first designed by 50 engineers, 5,300 times but completed by Gustave Eiffel! Then in 1887, hundreds of workers built and put together more than 18,000 pieces of iron, using 2,500,00 rivets on the Eiffel Tower. In just 2 years, this magnificent tower was complete!

  E is for Eiffel Tower

     The Eiffel Tower

     Is tall to the end,

And even though it’s metal

With a storm, it can bend


Soccer (in French, football) is France's national sport, and is a very famous sport. Both men and women play football and represent their team by wearing the colors blue, white and red- the color of their national flag. Football was first introduced to France in 1863 and by 2006, the sport had become so popular that over 1,850,836 players were registered for all different types of teams and leagues. The French national team had won, out of eight other national teams, at least one FIFA World Cup. What a team!

is for Football

It's not the American version

even though it sounds the same,

this sport is actually soccer

so don't get confused by the name


The Gallic Rooster became the French Catholic symbol through a Christian story. It was told that every morning when the rooster crows, it would tell the farmers that the sun was rising. This resembled that light and good was growing and coming up against the dark and evil. Today in France, people see the Gallic Rooster as a symbol for the French Republic because of the tale.

The Gallic Rooster (in French: coq gaulois) looks like a typical rooster. It has a dark tail and chest/belly compared to its light brown/amber colored neck. It’s red comb on the top of its head tells the difference between itself and a hen. This colorful bird lives for 15 years and mostly eats worms, fruit, grains, and seeds for most of its life.

is for Gallic Rooster

Roosters have many colors

including their bright red, large comb,

before the roosters fate

it calls the hen house "home sweet home"


Hieronymus Bosch was a very famous Dutch/ Netherlands painter and created many famous paintings found in France in the Louvre. He produced around 16 paintings called triptychs and also created many in a panel form. Some of his most known paintings are "The Garden of Earthly Delights." Others usually demonstrated the time of Jesus Christ and popular Catholic stories. Hieronymus Bosch’s life though was never discovered or learned about because he kept no diaries and journals at all.

H is for Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch

created many paintings

but little is known

of his life or his training


Iron is one of France's most important resources and exports. Skilled miners first have to dig deep into the ground to search for the material and then is sent to factories where the iron is put to special use. Most of the iron found is very scarce because the resource is super hard to find deep in caves and underground. Most of the iron is exported to other countries for money but most of the time, iron is produced into items for the country. On big example in France's first bridge called Pont des Arts across the Seine River. France wouldn’t be earning as much money as it would’ve without its one major natural resource.

is for Iron

Iron is a resource

That comes from down below,

Miners can always find it

If they know exactly where to go


Jacques Chirac was a phenomenal president of France. He helped France in many ways in office from 1995-2007. He had kept peace in France by creating the organization called Foundation Chirac during his whole reign for 12 years. He was actually nicknamed ‘My Bulldozer’ by the Prime Minister for his tough determination for getting things done. He had gained the leadership of France as a mayor as well! Because of his good service in office, he has received many honors rewards. 

 is for Jacques Chirac

     Jacques Chirac 

   Was a diligent guy

He stayed for two terms

And had never told a lie


King Napoleon I was an emperor of France and military leader that had craved victory since he became king. He lived from 1769-1821 and died at age 51. His main goal was to expand and control power over France. During his reign, he had fought in the Napoleonic wars to gain more land over France and had built the famous Arc de Triomphe. Before he died, he had married Josephine, but shortly divorced afterwards. He had also had 5 kids to rule and continue his quest. 

K is for King Napoleon

 Gaining new territory

 Was all he desired,

 Keeping France free

 As king was required


The famous, triangular, glass structure amazes many tourists, but underneath, it fascinates the whole world. The Louvre, also known as the biggest museum in France, has more than 380,000 displays and objects. It exhibits extremely famous artworks like the Mona Lisa and Hammurabi’s Code which receives around 6 million tourists a year! 

The Louvre was first built by Philip II, France's first official king, in the 12th century. He intended to build a fortress as a border for protection. He had started to build the underground part of the Louvre that we know now, but had abandoned it, leaving it in ruins. In 1793, France returned the Louvre to what it is today and it is now one of the most biggest museums in the world.

      L is for the Louvre

        Under the ground

     There is priceless art,

       Inside of the louvre

You don’t know where to start


The Mona Lisa looks like a normal woman but her eyes are actually quite peculiar. As people started to walk around the Mona Lisa, they had realized that her gaze follows you everywhere! Not only her eyes but her puzzling smile confuses people if she’s sorrowful or joyful. This baffling question is giving the Mona Lisa a title of “The most discussed work of art ever.”

The amazingly talented painter, Leonardo da Vinci, had created the Mona Lisa in the 16th century. The reason his work is so famous is because of his passion towards diversions, science, engineering and the study of anatomy. Using his smarts, Leonardo Da Vinci had painted a beautiful masterpiece of a woman that attracts the world.

is for Mona Lisa

What a beautiful painting

The world gets to see,

You may have to wait

But it will give you a glee


The Notre Dame is a stunning medieval catholic church in Paris. Made entirely out of stone, the huge structure is 420 feet tall and is known for its incredible details and carvings of royalty, priests, and gargoyles. It also has carvings on the tall double doors and inside the church. 

Notre Dame wasn’t only famous for its details but for its entertaining movie. In 1936 and 1996, Disney had come out with a movie taken place in the Notre Dame cathedral and it had changed the way people know about it today. The movie was based on a hunchback man who secretly lived in the Notre Dame with the gargoyles and had found a true love. The story had attracted many tourists there to take a look around the beautiful church themselves and made the medieval church more mysterious.

N is for Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre Dame is large

And completely made of stone,

There was a story of a man

Who lived there all alone


Also known as Palais Garnier in French, this 1,979 seated Opera House is the most famous opera house in the world. It is especially known for its huge auditorium and gigantic candelabra above the seats. Inside the Opera House, thousands of candles give light to the details of the medieval times and beautiful carvings and statues.  

Based off of the candelabra and the Opera House, a musical was produced called Phantom of the Opera. The movie was first written as a book by Gaston Leroux and turned into a romantic musical taking place in the auditorium. Taken in 1984, the Phantom of the Opera brought tourists to the Opera House to take a look at the palace and its incredible details.

is for Opera House

Don’t go to the opera

If you fear the phantom,

Under the candelabra

He’s not so handsome


Being the capital of France, Paris is known for many things. Some examples are the spectacular structures and sights that 6.9 million people visit a year. Paris is also known for its delicious bakeries and restaurants and of course, fashion. Champs Elysées is the most famous shopping street in Paris. Containing around 30 huge shopping malls in total, Paris also holds many perfume stores and makeup appliances. The city is also known as one of the most romantic locations in the world. Paris really is a sight for sore eyes! As the famous actress, Audrey Hepburn would say, “Paris is always a good idea.”

The history of Paris started over 2,000 years ago in 200 B.C. It had started when the Parisii tribe first settled there. The land was put through many wars and took part in the French Revolutionary War and Prussian War to gain freedom into what we know of it now. 

is for Paris

Paris is a place for romance

And fashion galore, 

Many tourists go there

To see sights and explore


The French language, after English, is the most popular-spoken language in Canada. Quebec French is one of the variety of French languages. When French explorers traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, they had passed on the language to the Canadians. There, they had added and changed the language a little for them to understand. Today, Quebec French is still used in more than one country for speaking and spelling. 

Q is for Quebec French

Not only common in France

But in Canada as well,

The French language is used

To speak and to spell


Many French citizens practice the Catholic religion. This means that they worship one God and Jesus Christ. Many of their stories are based off of the religion too. More than 50% of France citizens are Roman Catholic. Others are Christian. Many famous churches were also built in France to show respect an for people to go to pray. Some of these churches includes The Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Sacred Heart of Paris church. 

   R is for Roman Catholic

Most of France goes to church,

    It is the right thing to do,

   When you are in search

          Just sit in a pew


The Seine River in Paris is used many ways by France. The Seine River is used for many romantic boat rides across France and tours. It is also used for transportation along with the long bridges that stretch across it. The river also gives natural resources to France like silt (rich soil from rivers), but the Seine is incredibly polluted. Eating fish straight from the river could cause harm to humans and sipping water directly is dangerous too. The Seine River also leads out into a big body of water for trade with other countries. 

     S is for Seine River

     The River is a transport,

    With bridges high above,

     People go for boat rides

And to a bridge to lock their love


The Tour de France is a real tricky ride. The course goes through rough terrains, mountains and cities with tons of people. In groups of nine, the bikers have to travel 3,500 kilometers for around 23 days. Not only do the riders go through that, but they have to travel in the hot sun of July. The 21 stage ride pays off though. Earning $4.3 million dollars, the winner of the race goes home, rich and famous! That’s worth the effort.

is for Tour de France

Tour de France is
for skilled bicyclists,
All through the country
It’s not something to miss


France is known for many collages, but one of its most popular universities is the Louis Stanislas University. The huge collage is a private catholic school for boys and has over 3,000 students. The French University was the largest private school in France and is 213 years old! Many boys go to this school to learn about the Sacred Heart and to follow the rules of the Gospel while succeeding in academics and other classes to get good grades. The Louis Stanislas University is a very well-known college in France.

is for Universities

France has many collages

With a total of seventy-one,

People go there to learn and study

Until they’re finally done


The beautiful sculpture of the Greek goddess Aphrodite is famous for the mystery of her missing arms. Standing proud and tall, the statue shows fine detail everywhere but her arms. Many tourists wonder what had happened in 130-100 B.C. and many scientists and archaeologists have theories. One theory is that her arms could of mistakenly broken off when shipped from place to place. Others think she was meant to be sculpted like that. The mystery of her missing arms is still undetermined.

V is for Venus de Milo

Being a sculpture in the Louvre
Gets her many tourists a day,
She stands for love and beauty
And her details make some stay


The Winged Victory has a beautiful appearance. Made of entirely marble, the structure has two large wings spread out behind her. Her head and arms are missing so no one knows what her facial expression and what position of her arms were. The Winged Victory's ship she stands upon is also broken off. The robe draped onto her is called a himation- a piece of rectangular fabric that can be worn different ways. The Winged Victory’s beautiful details and appearance makes her a famous statue in Paris.

is for Winged Victory

The eight foot tall goddess
Made by the famous Greeks,
Stands for victory and justice
And proves she isn’t weak


Louis Stanislas had done many things in his reign that make French citizens remember their old king. From 1814-1824, King Louis Stanislas Xavier was called “The Desired” for his loyalty for France during his time. He had also been the first King to die in his reign for obesity. King Xavier was a greedy man and had expected a lot as King, but even though he was a little selfish, he had kept France’s freedom and peace. Today, people remember him by his gold coin worth 20 Francs, (French word for dollar- no longer used today). France also named a collage after him. 

is for Xavier

Xavier was the King of France
But only for a decade,
If he didn’t eat so much as he did
He maybe could of stayed


Out of Yville-sur-Seine’s many ruins, Jumieges Abbey is one of the oldest in France. The story came from long ago when it was said a beautiful catholic Monastery was built for monks in the 7th century. Stories told that one day, vikings had come and invaded the land, leaving the church in ruins. The structure was now left as a historical site. Soon enough the church was discovered and built back up again to resemble its past design.

Y is for Yville-sur-siene

Yville-sur-Seine beholds
Many ruins within.
After many years of decay
The manoirs aren’t what they'd been


France has many different zoos but two stand out the most. The Cerva Safari Park is in Lisieux, Normandy. This park has over 800 animals within 120 acres of natural surroundings. The wildlife park also has lodges where you can see deer and other exotic animals roaming freely below your balcony.

Another example of a very famous zoo in France is Zoo Parc de Beauval. This park was listed as one of the most visited sights in 2012. They are one of the 16 zoos in the whole world to have a giant panda outside of China.  At this zoo, more than 4,500 animals live in the wild life park including the 1,500 different types of fish from Australia's Great Barrier Reef in their aquarium.

is for Zoo

If you’re into seeing animals
You better come to France,
It has mammals of all sorts
You’ll always have a chance

Recipe for French Croissants


1/2 ounce of active dry yeast

1/4 cup of sugar

12 ounces of bread flour

1 tablespoon of salt

1/4 cup of 110-115 degrees hot water

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

3 cups & 3 tablespoons of flour

2 cups of 110 to 115 degrees hot milk

1 lightly beaten egg

For egg wash

you will also need:

1 egg

1 tablespoon of milk


1. Make the dough- stir water, yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl. Then butter a separate bowl. Put flour and 2 tablespoons of sugar in the bowl and mix with electric mixer. Add yeast, milk and butter until it becomes dough-like.

2. Knead the dough- After lightly flouring your hands and work space, knead dough until soft for about 3 minutes. Then transfer to bowl. Place dough in fridge for two hours to rise with plastic rap on top.

3. Make butter package- After 45 minutes of having the dough rise, put flour and butter in bowl and mix. Then put the butter on parchment paper in shape of a rectangle. Transfer this to fridge for 30 minutes

4. Roll out dough- Take dough out of fridge and roll into rectangle. Add butter package to dough on one side. The flip other side over and pinch sides to seal.

5. Fold the dough- Fold the dough into thirds and then those into thirds again. Mark the dough with your knuckles to represent how many folds you have completed and place in fridge again for an hour. 

Recipe Continued...

6. Repeat fold- After the hour, repeat the process 3 more times including the refrigerating part for another hour. On the last fold, wrap dough in plastic and place back in fridge for 8 hours overnight.

7. Shape- Take out the dough and place on floured surface. Cut the croissant into the crescent shape you want and pinch sides together. 

8. Bake- Place the croissants on baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap. Let the croissants sit in a warm place to soften up. Then, preheating the oven to 400 degrees, brush the croissant with egg and bake for 20-25 minutes. Then, your Croissants are ready for you to enjoy!

  • Extra interesting facts about

1. Paris is known as "The City of Lights"

2. The motto of Paris is "Fluctuat Ner Mergitur." It means "Tossed but not sunk."

3. Being the fourth largest public transportation center, Paris has 302 stations

4. Names of 72 different engineers, mathematicians, and scientists were engraved on the Eiffel Tower 

5. Every city in France has a street named after Victor Hugo

6. There is a Statue of Liberty in France pointing directly at the Statue of Liberty in the United States of America

7. There are more dogs in Paris than there are children- 300,000

8. There is a law in France saying that it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon


8. All the 470,000 trees in Paris are measured

9. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has a bell named Emmanuel 

10. The largest French speaking country is not actually France but Quebec

       Did you know...

that until 2012, there was only one single stop sign in Paris? It's true! Actually, some say that there might not be any at all! Every intersection in Paris has been a free-for-all for drivers. Its insane but nobody has ever said anything! The only rule they watch out for was to be aware of anything that might come. Otherwise, you could go right ahead. The one stop sign some people say exist is on 16 Arrondissement Street.