Enclaved within the territory of Quebec City, this unusual municipality, lacking any governmental structure, measures only 6 hectares (15 acres) in area and has a population of 437. At a density of according to Statistics Canada , it is one of the densest census subdivisions in Canada. It was created as a civil parish in 1722, and was incorporated a parish municipality in 1855 with the goal of protecting its sole occupant, the Hôpital général de Québec, from taxes.
The land near the Rivière Saint-Charles was first possessed as a fief by the Récollet order, which founded a convent there. The seigneury then passed to the Jesuits, taking the name of Notre-Dame-des-Anges ("Our Lady of the Angels"); it was returned to the Récollets when they returned to New France in 1670.
The municipality is situated north of downtown Quebec City, enclaved within the borough of La Cité, bound by avenue Simon-Napoléon-Parent, rue des Commissaires Ouest, and rue Saint-Anselme.
It is entirely occupied by the Hôpital Général du Québec, including the CLSC Basse-Ville–Limoilou–Vanier, and by the various religious buildings associated with the hospital, including an Augustine monastery, the Église de Notre-Dame-des-Anges (the parish church), and a museum. The hospital is surrounded by a cemetery holding, among others, the remains of General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm.
It is one of two enclaves in Quebec City (along with the Wendake Indian reserve) that was not subject to the municipal mergers in 2002. It is also by far the smallest municipality not included in one of Quebec's Regional County Municipalities.