In the year 711, a North African tribe converted to Islam known as the Moors, crossed the strait of Gibraltar to defeat the Visigoths of Spain in what is known as the battle of Guadalete. This invasion and victory marked the beginning of one of the most influential eras in Spain.
From the time of their invasion in 711 until around 1492, these Arabs left a lasting influence on Spanish culture and creativity. Some of their major contributions to Spain include: the introduction of alchemy, algebra, the game of chess, the use of Arabic numbers instead of Roman numerals, the number zero, and Aristotelian philosophy.
In addition to these contributions, the Muslim presence was greatly felt in such areas as language (some 4000 words), music (the Spanish guitar and flamenco), cooking (spices and garbanzo beans), culture, and architecture (the Mosque of Cordoba, the Alhambra of Granada, the Giralda of Sevilla) to name a few. The Arab influence on the Spanish peninsula is very evident.
Information gathered from donquijote.org