Django is a high-level Python web framework that follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern, with a slight variation known as Model-View-Template (MVT). It provides a robust and efficient way to build web applications quickly and easily.

Key features and components of Django include:

1. Object-Relational Mapping (ORM): Django provides an ORM layer that allows developers to interact with databases using Python objects. This simplifies database operations, such as querying, inserting, updating, and deleting data, without writing complex SQL queries manually.

2. URL routing: Django includes a URL dispatcher that maps URLs to specific views or functions within the application. This enables clean and organized URL structures and allows for the handling of various HTTP methods like GET, POST, etc.

3. Template Engine: Django comes with a powerful template engine that allows developers to separate the presentation logic from the business logic. Templates can be written in a declarative syntax, and they support variables, filters, loops, conditional statements, and more.

4. Forms handling: Django provides a forms library that simplifies the creation and processing of HTML forms. It handles form validation, data cleaning, and rendering of form elements, making it easier to handle user input and ensure data integrity.

5. Authentication and Authorization: Django offers built-in user authentication and authorization mechanisms. It provides secure ways to handle user registration, login, password resets, and permissions, allowing developers to create user-based applications with ease.

6. Admin Interface: Django includes a fully-featured administration interface that can be automatically generated based on the application’s models. This admin interface allows developers to manage site content, perform CRUD operations, and customize the admin interface as needed.

7. Internationalization and Localization: Django supports internationalization and localization, allowing developers to build applications that can be translated into multiple languages and adapt to various locales.

Django’s design principles emphasize code reusability, modularity, and the “Don’t Repeat Yourself” (DRY) principle. It encourages developers to write clean, maintainable, and scalable code. Django also has a vast and active community, which contributes to its development, provides numerous third-party packages, and offers extensive documentation and support.

Django is widely used for building all kinds of web applications, ranging from small personal projects to large-scale enterprise applications. It has been used by popular websites and platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Disqus, and The Washington Post.