The United States Capitol serves as the seat of government for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located in Washington, D.C., on top of Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall. Although not in the geographic center of the District of Columbia, the Capitol is the origin by which the quadrants of the district are divided. Officially, both the east and west sides of the Capitol are referred to as "fronts." Historically, however, the east front was initially the side of the building intended for the arrival of visitors and dignitaries.