Alfred I Potocki (1786-1862) left his mark on in the history of Lancut by making the estate a single legacy, preventing the property from being split up. From then on the family wealth was indivisible, and could be inherited only by the eldest son. Alfred II's neglect of Lancut was more than made up for by his son Roman (1851-1915), who funded the last modernisation of the palace.
He was a passionate gambler, blessed with extraordinary luck at cards. It was said that the emperor himself ordered him to stop gambling because the number of Austrian aristocrats who had been cleaned out playing baccarat was beginning to pose a threat to the monarchy . . .
The last inheritor of Lancut, Alfred III (1886-1958),
was one of the richest people in Europe. An Oxford graduate, in his
youth he made many journeys abroad, during which he met many outstanding
During the occupation, Alfred III saved many Lancut residents from being taken to Germany, employing them in the palace under the pretext of providing better service to the Nazi army staff quartered there. He also funded the operation of a free kitchen which served meals to four hundred people daily. After he abandoned Lancut on July 23, 1944, he resided in Vienna, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. He died in Geneva on March 30, 1958.