The oxidation and nitridation of pure chromium and of chromium alloys containing 0.5 to 5at% silicon was investigated at 1300°C in several atmospheres. Global methods like thermogravimetry were associated to thickness measurements and microstructural characterisation to evaluate oxidation mechanisms. The contribution of nitridation to weight gain during high temperature exposure is discussed, examining nitride volume fraction. Experiments demonstrate that the presence of nitrogen in the substrate is always consecutive to a breakdown of the oxide layer and does not result from diffusion through the Cr2O3 layer. Silicon, when present in chromium solid solution, slows down the oxidation kinetics and limits the progression of nitrogen in the chromium lattice and at grain boundaries. The absence of the Cr2N layer beneath the metal/oxide interface does not benefit to the adherence of the oxide scale. Oxidation of silicon in chromium leads to the formation of discontinuous particles of SiO2 at the metal/oxide interface, at the grain boundaries and dispersed in the bulk in the alloy sub-surface.